I was talking to a horsey friend yesterday, who was asking me how I'm getting on with my riding. She's about the same level as me - roughly two years of riding, working on becoming more of a rider than a passenger, now that I've ridden a few different horses, experienced all the gaits, etc.
In reply, I said that I'm riding a more forward horse so I can get her working correctly and 'on the bit'. My perception of being on the bit is not just a pretty headset but the horse listening to my aids and accepting a bit. She said that to get a horse on the bit, you just saw (give and take on both reins, one at a time). I've heard of this before but I don't really understand what you can achieve with this except getting the horse's attention, and from there comes my question - what is the purpose of sawing and is it helpful in any way?
I'm probably not going to go off and try it, since I have a fantastic trainer at my riding school and I trust her 20 years of experience more than 2, but it just made me wonder. Thanks for any input.