15 Quick Takeaways to Bring Clarity to Your Riding

15 Quick Takeaways to Bring Clarity to Your Riding

Have you ever had a 'lightbulb moment' while riding or taking a lesson? Maybe your trainer worded something just right and it really stuck, or you tried something new and the feeling of doing it right finally clicked.

We asked, and you answered. Now, we've rounded up all your responses to help someone else achieve their own lightbulb moment. 

  • @simplelifeofshaun Shaun Sellers: "As a young adult my trainer told me horses don’t know how much they cost and the goals and aspirations we have for them come from us not them. Really was a turning point to take the pressure off the horse and ride each horse as an individual to get the most and not put expectations on them due to price tag and/or personal ambitions."

  • Joelle Dionne: "Collection isn't about making him step LESS, it's about making him step UP."

  • @mikailaives Mikaila: "For years I’ve been told to 'sit tall' for dressage and flat work. I’ve always assumed that my entire body becomes rather elongated and so my butt would kind of hover the saddle almost. I never sat very deep. Recently, I had it explained to me to almost 'draw' a line up my sternum and to feel like it's being pulled up to the sky. It’s made SO much of a difference. I’m able to sit deep in the saddle and have my seat bones connect while sitting tall and engaging my core."
  • @katherinefalz Katie: "You practice and drill it until it is natural. Drill perfect practice with every different task, even if it starts correctly at a few strides, mere seconds. Grow the strength. Connect the mental to the physical, physical to the mental. Understand every function of your body has a different affect to the horse. Understand why it functions that way, learn how to control the functions. Then learn something new, and start the revelation all over again. ✨ That’s the lightbulb moments."
  • @for_the_love_of_all_things_fab Nicole Salazar: "Literally 'Hunting' the jumps to maintain a consistent rhythm all the way through - keeping forward momentum and not backing off the rhythm on the approach. I keep little reminders/descriptions of my 💡 moments in my phone notes."
  • @kristinewhitewilliams Kristine Williams: "I was afraid to ride confidently through a combination until I realized the second and third jumps are just jumps set at perfect distances to ride to."
  • Lauren Zeleniak: "Most recently, on a horse that had a tendency to duck out when you don’t offer enough supporting leg, I realized that enough leg to keep him honest also happened to be enough to better sit a possible duck out. Win-win for us both! Also for the first time realized I actually DO have time for a couple deep breaths between fences when I compare them to my yoga practice."

Reset Your Riding: Two Exercises for Staying Balanced Through the Turn from Sloane Coles

  • Sahne Johnson: "Ok my lightbulb moment. I’ve ridden racehorses at the track, hunters, dressage horses, jumpers and Big Eq. As an older senior pushing 70, my coach works with centered riding and straightness rraining. I ride 'the barrel' and point my toes toward my intended direction. It is so simple - and perhaps I learned this in 1960 as a beginner - but it is a miraculous method to navigate and communicate with my 4-year-old OTTB. Not a lightbulb moment. More like a prison escape light!"
  • Serah Vogus: "Your reins are not your seat belt. They are not the handlebars either. They are the brakes. Ride with your legs!"
  • Brenda Yost: "Reward his try. Don’t worry about perfect right now."

  • @zandradoucet Alexandra Doucet: "One of my friends who did the big eq explained leg position to me like this: 'Imagine water is flowing down the back of your leg from your hip to your heel.' Now instead of shoving my heel down, I stretch my entire leg and my position has completely changed!"
  • Rhonda Peterson: "Auditing a Mac Cone clinic. More active leg means less active hand. I struggled for years hearing coaches tell me to have less busy hands. His simple demonstration was the lightbulb I needed."
  • Kaziah Mass: "'Let him fold your body. He’ll jump up to you.' I was 12 years old and that stuck with me forever.
  •  Kate Hyde: "Holding your reins properly! Not jammed up into your fingers in a fist."
  • @donadt_dressage Ashley Donadt: "'Lightbulb moment' This past weekend, I rode through the entire Grand Prix dressage test (for my first time ever!) with my coach Anna Buffini, on her horse Sunday Boy. It was a such a surreal, rewarding experience, to feel all the different pieces/movements we've been working on these past few months just click and come together in the test. The entire test was a lightbulb moment, to be able to put it together and keep riding from one movement to the next. So fun! 💡🐴😍"

    Do you have your own lightbulb moment? Let us know in the comments or email us at info@NoelleFloyd.com with the subject line Lightbulb Moment. 

    Read this next: Tik's Picks: A List of Must-Reads for Studious Riders

    Submissions have been edited for clarity. 

    Written by Editorial Staff

    Brought to you by a pack of horse-crazy creatives across North America... and all of their rescue pets.