Preventing conflict at home

Dale Forbes:

(This is going to sound stupid and uninteresting–particularly in light of the post I have planned next about preventing sores in your seat area, but listen up!)

You like to ride and you also like your partner, child, job, etc.

There are no pictures here–this is your life, not mine.  But this is the most important part of riding well–getting it done with good communication with your human partners.

Because without that you cannot do it and be happy.  End of story.

Rule 1. Make a money budget: Be plain about it, get agreement, and stick to it.

Rule 2. Make a time budget: Be clear about your goals.

Rule 3. Do what is important to you with your time.

If in the “X” amount of time you have, talking to the gal in the next stall about her divorce is important, then do it.

If brushing the tail is a good thing right now–and it can be–then also do it.

Just keep in mind your agreement about “X” time.

And that you are in charge of what happens in that time.

I like to ride, so I don’t talk much with people in the barn.

If you want to, and have the time to talk, it is no issue–do it.

But, with my magic wand I hereby (with all the dubious powers of the Dressage Snob) absolve you from guilt if you politely go about your business.

It’s okay.  Just smile, be polite in your other ways, pat the noses, and go on with things.

“Feets in your bottom!” What to do with your seat now that you have found it.

Dale Forbes

At one point Herr Schultheis said in my hearing, “You must develop feets [sic] in your bottom!”  And indeed you must.

If you have read the post about finding your seat (, you know where your seat is supposed to be–one side of it evenly on each side of the saddle, your torso lightly stretching up, the leg relaxed downward anchored softly by the calf, and the horse swinging nicely under you–here is how you are to use it.

The fluid, following or leading (really “matched” is a better word) seat serves as a template for the movement of the horse.

The fluid, following or leading (really “matched” is a better word) seat serves as a template for the movement of the horse!!!!!!!

(Yes, you are to think I think this is important–Thank you.)

Slightly retard the movement of the seat–the horse is supposed to slow up the tempo.

Slightly quicken–an indication to step faster.

Weight more on one side–go that way laterally.

One seat bone forward, one back–adopt a slight angle.

The combination of the regulating or allowing seat with the the backup of the leg and rein aids gives the horse the relaxed look of connection and confidence–the horse is “on” the rider–connected.

As Rudolf said, years later, to me: “You never use just one aid–hand, weight, or leg–there is always an interplay.”

This is a very dramatic example of a horse following the rider’s seat–also one of Rudolf’s horses and riders.

The late Blue Horse Matine with Andreas Helgstrand