I went on a trek a few weeks ago on holiday, at a riding school in Dartmoor.
When I got on my horse, the first thing the instructor did was say "Are you one of those girls that has learnt to ride the kicky whippy way?". Safe to say I was a bit baffled, as yes, I ride English using my legs as aids (among others obviously) but I use my whip as a back up and last resort when Lottie isn't responding straight away, certainly not as barbaric as this woman made it sound.
She said "We ride differently round here" and told me that to make the horse go, sorry if this sounds really weird, but "you have to zip your buttocks up to make an upwards transition". She told me to hold the reins loosely and farther up the horse's neck than I would normally, with very little rein contact.
To turn, I was told to loosen the reins and simply turn my body in the direction I wanted to go, and to canter I had to move my legs in a dum-dum, dum-dum rhythm, inside-outside leg, inside-outside leg in the same rhythm in a canter.
I realise I probably haven't made this info very clear so if you need anything clarifying then I understand!
The horse I was riding was not at all responsive to any of these different aids I gave him, but that could be down to any number of reasons and I'm sure my scepticism meant that I wasn't giving them very effectively.
I recognise certain elements from my normal riding, such as the turning of your body to turn, but it isn't isolated (in my limited experience) as being the only aid.
Am I being completely naive here in a riding form that I haven't experienced before? I'll openly admit that I probably don't have half the knowledge of some people on this forum, but I'd love to know what it actually is and improve my limited horsey knowledge :) Is it a completely different riding style or just an isolated incident? I know certain elements of it are fundamental but not the whole style, I just find it very intriguing.
Do any of you ride like this and can educate me on it, or have you ever heard of this before?
Many thanks in advance :)