I've been reading the post by Spyder about Applying Aids Correctly, and to be honest it has got me thinking a lot about the fact that there is a lot that I don't know.
I've learned all I know from books, a few lessons, and just riding. Because I have primarily taught myself everything, I feel like I have missed out on some key concpets and principles associated with riding.
I ride trails mostly and use western tack. However I wouldn't say my way of riding is solely western. To me riding is more than just hopping on and going. I want to have connection with my horse and be properly balanced with him. I don't want to just be a passenger, but a partner.
I've had my horse Duke for about two and half years now, but I still consider myself a beginner, atleast in some ways. What are the basic concepts I should know? Right now I'm reading "Centered Riding" by Swift. It has given me a lot to think about. I'm curious what you think I should know. Both in skill, and concept.
Here are the things I know:
-I get the concept of keeping your core centered. And keeping your shoulding over you center and making sure you heels are directly under your center.
-Making sure you heels are down and you are allowing your weight to sink into your heels.
-Breathing with your diaphram. Feeling your breath into your core.
-Keeping your hips/pelvis open and relaxed.
-keeping elbows bent and flexible.
-Not leaning forward!
-I've just recently learned the concept of using your legs to "push" the horses belly as it swings at the walk. (When you feel the belly on your left leg, lighty hug it and push it back to the right. Same on the right. Helps propel horse.)
-Using leg aids at the trot is a bit harder. From what I have read so far you are supposed to cue with each diaganol. Cueing with the hind leg. But are you supposed to cue with the inside or outside leg?
I guess I'm looking for other basic prinicples I should know.
I apologize if I have not made myself clear, I'm not even sure how to explain it.