What this episode is all about and how it can help you:-
- Get clear on what an independent aid isn’t!
- Understand what an independent aid is…
- Get started developing your independent seat
- Realise that it will take time to achieve
Your independent seat. Are you, like so many other riders around the world, trying to achieve yours right now? If so, understanding what is really required to develop it will make it much easier for you to successfully work towards it.
Keep in mind; your independent seat is a result of other things happening. It is not a ‘stand alone event’…
What an Independent Aid Isn’t…
This is one of those situations where it is easier to explain what it is not; before diving into what it really is. I am going to use an example here that I know you will have seen at some point in an arena somewhere..
Rider is on their horse. They kick with their legs to ask the horse to go forward. However, as they kick – at the exact same time – , they jerk their hands backwards.
It is almost as though their legs are directly connected to their hands. And, in this case, they are.
Which leads me to what an Independent aid is…
What an Independent Aid is…
An independent aid is when you can apply an aid without it negatively impacting or affecting your other aids. Simply put, it is your ability to move things when and where you want, without there being an impact on the other parts of your body.
No aid is ever really applied completely independently when riding your horse.
Each aid is part of a balance of all the aids. However, refining that balance so that your choosen aid can be clear and concise is what takes practice.
Allow Your Horse to Be Your Teacher
Most of the time, when your horse is doing something, he is simply doing so in response to something you are doing. Becoming more aware of the influence you are having over your horse, positive and negative, will help you to begin developing independent aids.
Mindfulness is a word that has become somewhat ‘fashionable’ at the moment… However, being mindful of how and when you’re applying your aids is important to developing independent aids.
An easy way to see how you are maybe lacking independent aids or seat is to allow someone else to ride your horse. Ask them to do the same exercise or ride the same movement and see how the horse reacts to their aids.
Work on Your Basic Position
Being in the right place will help ensure that you are effectively communicating what needs to be communicated to your horse. A good position allows your aids to begin to work as they should, so that you can begin developing them independently.
There are a lot of ‘basics’ in horse riding that you want to begin putting on ‘automatic’; meaning you don’t have to focus or think about them each time you apply them.
A good position will help make this task easier, as everything will be where it should be when you do need to apply or use them.
Allowing Your Seat To Become More Relevant
As you refine your more obvious aids, such as your legs and hands, you can begin to ‘use’ your less obvious aids more. This is where your seat comes into play.
Trying to develop an independent seat before you have really mastered your independent ‘obvious’ aids is, in the long run, a waste of your time!
Rather begin mastering those obvious aids first. Yes, of course, relate them to your seat and how, later, it will play a larger role in your communication.
Don’t allow your seat to become the sole focus of your attention, especially as you work towards developing your feel; your independent seat.
I have spoken a lot more on each of these different topics of feel, independent aids and balance of aids before both here on the blog and in the podcast. You can find the links to all of the relevant posts below.
Devleoping Your Riding Over Time
What you will find is that your independent seat is not a ‘stand alone’, ‘I’ve got this’, ‘one time get it right’ event. Instead, over time with consistent, correct practice, your seat will become more relevant in the conversation.
As your aids become more independent, so too will your seat begin to become more relevant. Your feel will develop more and more.
Until one day, you will notice that you have developed the all important ‘independent seat’…
Until then, work on getting the basics of your position and your independent aids right first.
Other posts, episodes and resources that relate to this topic:-
- Improving Your Feel in the Saddle
- The Evolution of Your Aids in the Saddle
- Understanding the Balance of Your Aids
- Your Independent Seat is Everything
- Join the free Facebook group HERE
- The Daily Strides Podcast on iTunes
- Daily Strides Podcast on Google Play
- The Daily Strides Podcast on Stitcher Radio
- Join Daily Strides Premium
Are you looking for exercises to get you started on your journey to an independent seat? Daily Strides Premium is packed full of audio trainings you can listen to anywhere you can bring your phone (including on your horse) that will help you work towards your goal of an independent seat in a focused way.
You will also be able to create a plan for your rides and review what has happened when you join in on the monthly ‘Review and Planning’ call. In there, you will go step by step through the month that was. You then take that information and begin planning out the coming month. When you will ride. What you will work on. And of course all aligned with your goals for you and your horse.
Do you need to be competing? No! Do you need to have competitive goals or ambitions? No again!
In fact, I love working with riders who just ‘enjoy’ their horse; helping them to build and strengthen their relationship. No competitions necessary ;)
Couple this with the live Q&As and the members only private group ~ we are here to help you remain accountable as team leader for you and your horse.
All of the trainings are easily accessed using your phone, meaning that you can take them with you where ever you are going. These trainings and so much more are available for you immediately when you join Daily Strides Premium. Find out more HERE
WHAT IS YOUR SEAT TELLING YOUR HORSE? FREEBIE
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