Tag Archives: Teaching

Video Day Wednesday: Christmas Countdown Day 6 – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are…

I chose today’s video thinking about all the riders I have taught who suffered from various confidence crisis or are simply lacking in self-confidence with certain tasks or movements be it jumping higher, cantering bigger, letting the horse have its head…

I also thought about many trainee riding instructors I have worked with over the years who struggled with voice projection, believing in what they need to teach, believing in exercises they prepared or their feeling at ease in a big open space of an arena filled with riders to be responsible for.

I chose today’s video thinking of many riders who say “my horse doesn’t respect me”, “my horse never listens to me”, “my horse walks all over me”, “I can’t do this with my horse”…

We often seek equestrian specific advice on many horse related subjects but I think it’s important to sit down for a moment and honestly revise our own body language, how it affects us and then what message do we pass on to our horses, the animals highly tuned in to every single movement, weight distribution, muscle twitch.

It’s not about dominance or overpowering but being in control of own emotions, giving the horse confidence through own self-belief. What I liked about the below talk is the mention of cortisol levels…In my opinion that’s the key when dealing with many horses…Do let me know your thoughts if you watch the video.

If you watch  until the end I really recommend doing the little exercise Amy Cuddy proposes before you go out and work with your horse or have a jumping lesson or go for a hack or do groundwork with your horse or go out to teach or…[insert your own little challenge here]. 🙂

Who put a banana inside my horse?!

Whatever you might want to say about bananas, they are very useful educational tool. In fact, their natural born crookedness is somewhat perfectly suited to explaining the basic idea of one-sidedness in the horse to novice or young riders…


Superimposing a gently bent banana onto a horse’s back in such a way that it reflects a hollow and bulging sides of horse’s back/ribcage gives an immediate and strong albeit basic, visual representation of what is happening under the rider’s seat.

A realisation that a horse cannot work under the rider in a crooked state and remain healthy is to me one of the most important facts to learn by any rider, whether one that will hack for pleasure or one who will go on to compete. For this reason I teach the concept to children and beginner riders from the word go.

Bananas are also handy when you need to explain in very simple manner why it is not a good idea to use your outside rein to pull your horse back on the track after he drifted away.

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