Can I just say once again, how lucky we are having Sylvia Loch based so nearby. I still get a bit star struck even though we’ve met a few times and I’ve had a lesson with the great lady herself! We went over to one of her ‘Balance and Bodywork’ unmounted clinics on Sunday. There were probably about 25 or so of us in the local village hall. We learnt so much without a horse or even a saddle to be seen.
There were lots of exercises including sitting on your hands to feel how the slightest movement left or right would alter the eveness of the seatbones. There’s no need to lurch left or right to give a weight aid, it should be undetectable to the onlooker. Walking forwards and backwards to discover how your pelvis is upright when moving forward, and tilts slightly forwards when stepping back (as you would in rein back). Walking, ‘trotting’ and ‘cantering’ (Miranda style!) in groups in circles to appreciate where our weight should be. Seriously if anyone had looked through the window we must have looked both mad and hilarious, and possibly members of some sort of folk dance group!
All these exercises really helped both of us to appreciate how subtle our aiding needs to be, how out of balance we can make ourselves and our horses, and how we naturally weight each side of our bodies. At the end of the day, we should think of ourselves as ‘standing’ over the horse when mounted, rather than sitting on the saddle. It was extremely useful and I’m sure we would both do it again, given the chance. If you’re not in the Essex / Suffolk area, Sylvia shows you how to do all of this on her DVD of the same title: http://www.classicalriding.co.uk/…/balance-and-bodywork-dvd/
Sorry, no photos of any crazy circle ‘cantering’, I’m not sure our group of adults would have appreciated me whipping my camera out to take incriminating evidence!