How long to learn to feel the horse.

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding

How long to learn to feel the horse.

This is a discussion on How long to learn to feel the horse. within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Riding horses, learning to feel

LinkBack Thread Tools
    07-28-2009, 10:42 PM
How long to learn to feel the horse.

I know the answer to this is highly individualized based on who you are. But, I thought I ask anyway. I started riding last Sept at a local barn. I am 54 yrs old and am making progress.

My questions is how long do you think it takes before you can really begin to feel what the horse is doing underneath you. I can see and feel major changes the horse makes, but I am often not aware that the horse has dropped its shoulder, what lead its on, whether the horse is collected, etc. And I can't always tell if I'm on the right diagonal although that is getting better. My trainer can feel almost everything the horse is doing. Are there things I can do to increase my ability to feel or perceive whats happening below me?
Sponsored Links
    07-28-2009, 11:03 PM
Super Moderator
What worked for me in the past was that my trainer would tell me each thing the horse was doing like if it had dropped it's shoulder she'd say so, if it was collected she'd say so etc and eventually I learned what those terms meant.
I've kind of forgotten what most of those terms feel like anymore but I'm sure I could figure them out again if I started riding with a trainer again.

Good luck! It'll come in time.
    07-28-2009, 11:48 PM
Thanks, I'll ask her to do more of that.
    07-29-2009, 05:37 AM
Some of us never get it - but what you will get is a feeling of when it is going right and when something is wrong.

To help you, when the instructor is there get a third party to video with the sound on. Then view it at home.

But the key thing about feel is that you feel at one with the horse
    07-29-2009, 06:29 AM
It is one of those things that comes solely with experience and time in the saddle with a good trainer. You won't know from the very beginning what your doing wrong but with time these things will become pretty natural.
    07-29-2009, 07:41 AM
Originally Posted by Barry Godden    
Some of us never get it - but what you will get is a feeling of when it is going right and when something is wrong.

To help you, when the instructor is there get a third party to video with the sound on. Then view it at home.

But the key thing about feel is that you feel at one with the horse
I agree with Barry about this. Some people never really find the sensitivity to feel all the changes your horse is making. This is not to say that you will never be a great rider.

The amount of time you spend in the saddle with your instructor telling you when it happened as Wallaby suggested, is very helpful but if you are only riding once a week for an hour, you may never feel it - you need a lot of time and concentration to learn it.

Frankly, I've owned horses for close to 30 years and I ride several times per week. I can feel when a horse is wrong or off, I can even tell you which leg is causing the problem. I can usually tell which diagonal I'm on. I am normally in rhythm at all gaits and can sit most antics a horse puts on but I could not tell you the very finite things a horse is doing at all times and never could.
    07-29-2009, 06:45 PM
Sometimes it's better to be a little tuned out, particularly if you are the hypochondriac type. We have a few people at my barn who never actually ride their horses because every time they ride, they decide their horse's are a little off here or a little stiff there. It's ridiculous!

If you can ride with your eyes closed, even for a few strides, you will be able to feel the movement better. I highly recommend reading Centered Riding 2. Sally Swift provides some really good visuals for what your horse is doing underneath you.
    07-29-2009, 11:27 PM
Thanks to all for the input. I'll try all of your suggestions. I will be most excited when I can make the jump to riding more. Right now I'm riding about twice a week, but I want more ! Muchas gracias
    07-30-2009, 03:25 AM
If you literally want to "feel the horse" better, go bareback! Being in direct contact with the horse allows you to feel his movement infinitely times better than in a saddle.
    07-30-2009, 10:06 AM
Ha what a good question! I have been riding horses for nearly 12 years, and in full time training in dressage for the past 8 of those and still I don't have the feel or timing required to really call myself a great rider. Yes I can tell leads, straightness, suppleness, what foot is landing when, the degree of collection, etc.. but it is never enough. Riding and the feel of it is a lifetime long journey. Even Edward Gal takes lessons :P

Good luck!

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long, long, REALLY LONG mane: what's the secret? banoota Horse Grooming 50 09-28-2009 09:48 AM
horse and rider learn dressage 2gether? horselover85 Dressage 3 06-25-2009 10:16 PM
How can I learn more about the rare Rocky Mountain Horse Breed? westerngirl Gaited Horses 17 06-17-2009 12:06 AM
Can a horse actually feel better after worming?? funnygal Horse Health 4 01-12-2008 06:34 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0