Balance plays such a big role in our effectiveness as a rider. Our horses feel and reacts to every single thing we do from leaning forward to reaching out a hand. REALLY! Think about if someone was standing on your shoulders. You are likely going to move every time they move. Think how tough it is on you if they are up there bouncing around, leaning forward, pulling on your neck, etc.
The biggest reason to be balanced in your tack is because it helps to keep the rider safe and the horse happy. We need to be very balanced in our tack to assure that we are not asking the horse to do something that we don’t want them to do. Lack of balance is at the heart of so many riding and training issues. A professional can reschool a horse, but the horse falls right back into the bad habit, if the cause is the riders lack of balance.
One of the principles of Taiji Horsemanship is to every action, there is a reaction. Another principle is understanding that we can create or diffuse the energy level of our horse, when we are riding. When we create energy, we need to make sure we have the skills to direct it towards doing something productive like jumping, or a high level dressage movement and that it doesn’t result in your horse bucking, rearing, spooking or taking off. Every slight movement we make effects our horse state of energy and their reactions.
In our program IN BALANCE, we show the exercises we use to help a rider develop balance. We show you how to evaluate how well you are balanced. Some riders will always struggle with balance. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ride, but perhaps you should seek out a horse that is more suitable for a less balanced rider. If your balance isn’t the best you may want to seek out a horse that prefers walking to galloping.
Being impeccably balanced requires not only coordination, but also some strength. In our program, we spend much time working on rider strength and balance. We don’t move to more challenging tasks until we know our balance is solid for the task at hand. It is so much easier to train a horse a skill properly from the beginning than to reschool a horse that has developed bad habits as a result of bad riding. As we take on more and more challenging and athletic horses and tasks, like jumping and trick riding, we are constantly revisiting exercises that build strength and balance to assure we are giving our horses every advantage for success.
As you train a higher level skill or teach or ask your horse to perform a skill with more finesse, you are essentially asking your horses to perform with less and more subtle cues from the rider. With higher levels of training, you have to have impeccable balance, because slight changes in balance becomes part of the language you use to communicate a request for movement from your horse.
The IN BALANCE Pocket Guide
For each topic, we provide a little pocket guide. The pocket guide provides the ten steps in the presentation format for the topic being taught. In addition, we provide with keypoints for each of the step. You can take your pocket guide to the barn with you and there is even a place to take notes!
Download the IN BALANCE Pocket Guide (brochure) .
The IN BALANCE Team Taiji Quiz
At the end of each topic presentation. You can test your knowledge of the material. Completion of all of the quizzes for Introduction to Taiji Horsemanship, In Care and the “In Sync” Series earns you Certified Taiji Team member status!
Take the Taiji Team Member IN BALANCE Quiz .
The IN BALANCE Training Video Tutorials
Click on any clip below and you will be directed to that clip!