Turning from the core, from the horse’s viewpoint
You may remember that Lucky suggested that he should give me riding lessons. Our first session set the groundrules (no tack at all) and also established that Lucky feels I have a lot to learn. We covered staying balanced and centered while moving and stopping in our first lesson.
After that lesson, Lucky asked for several days of bodywork only and no riding. He wanted some changes in his back and pelvis, and some adjustments to his hoof trims. I got out my helmet each time, in the hope that he would choose to offer another riding lesson.
And after several days he did!
Lucky offered a new lesson about turning. For many years, teachers have talked to me about using my core and about turning from my center. I understood the concept, and struggled to actually apply it when riding. I found myself resorting to my legs, or my reins. I had some success using the principles taught in Centered Riding (c) (I earned my Level 1 instructor certification). When I took advanced bodywork training this past spring, I got to play with using a fitness disc (swivel disc, twist disc) to practice turning using my core (Thank you Kelley Mills!). I highly suggested getting a fitness disc and practicing your swivel. You learn quickly how to balance your left and right.
Until Lucky actually showed me how to turn, I didn’t connect the disc work with discussions about turning a horse with your core. To teach me how to turn correctly, Lucky let me experiment with all the different ways I know how to turn. When I didn’t ask correctly, he simply ignored me. I finally stumbled upon a spiral twist of my core, triggering my body memory of working with the fitness disc and my old Centered Riding visualizations of the barber pole. He turned smooth as silk – the harder the twist, the tighter the turn. I was elated!!!
Lucky let me play with the feeling of turning with my core for about 20 minutes. Then he walked to the mounting block and stopped. His message was clear. Riding lesson over for this session.
Until next lesson, I am continuing to practice my swivel using my core. I’m very excited to see what he teaches me next.
Copyright ©2017 Carrie Eastman.