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how many people can feel it ?

This is a discussion on how many people can feel it ? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Can a horse feel
  • Can anyone be taught to ride a horse or does it have to come naturally

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    08-28-2012, 02:20 PM
  #11
Foal
I've been riding two years and I've never been taught to feel the horse. Occasionally I get told to count their stride but I've never had to know where their legs are or if they are straight. When I do rising trot I've always been taught to glance down to see if I'm on the correct diagonal, I can't feel it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kait18    
...to feel when there horses hind is out of place or when the horses shoulder is not out of the way to allow the ribs to move etc??
I don't even know what that means
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    08-28-2012, 02:27 PM
  #12
Trained
My trainer is extremely good at helping her students get the "feel". And all she says is at the very right moment, "Do you feel that?", and whatever clicks in your brain from the slight differance in the horse and her voice makes you snatch onto it.

Since I've been riding with her my entire life, I can feel most everything my horses does. I can feel their feet, if they are unbalanced or out of alignment, the leads....I wouldn't have learned near as fast on my own though, without her "push" into it. Maybe eventually, but I find most people at the barn who have been riding with her awhile are the same way.
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    08-28-2012, 02:35 PM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by vergo97    
I've been riding two years and I've never been taught to feel the horse. Occasionally I get told to count their stride but I've never had to know where their legs are or if they are straight. When I do rising trot I've always been taught to glance down to see if I'm on the correct diagonal, I can't feel it.


I don't even know what that means

Vergo do not worry!!! It does take time to figure it out. Some it is natural and others its learned.

Next time you go to ride. Before heading off to warm up sit on your horses back and imagine a line going from there head to there tail. If it feels straight and when you turn to look head to tail and it looks straight then that is how he should feel when walking a straight line. When you walk your lines make sure you try and feel where his body is and keep his body straight. It takes time but slowly you will notice how your body reacts to his movements.
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    08-28-2012, 02:35 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
feeling your horse

Interesting thread. Obviously if you are competing in some discipline you are going to need to be way more in tune with your horses movements or how can you correct anything before it becomes a habit or an issue that's going to let you down in the ring
Another thing is how are your own bad position or habits affecting your horse and its balance? Sometimes things start out so gradually that you don't even realise you are doing it till someone points it out. We watched a woman in a show class early this year who was constantly leaning in to one side, shoulder dropped and looking down at the horses shoulder
Even 'just' trail riders should be able to tell the instant their horse feels unsound and be able to pick up from it if its feeling tense, nervous, getting wound up ready for an explosion etc. It doesn't mean you are riding nervously and apprehensive its just about staying relaxed but keeping your eye always on the game.
If you look after your own horses as I do you should be able to see even the slightest changes in them every time you are near them
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    08-28-2012, 02:40 PM
  #15
Green Broke
A good way to learn how to feel your horse, is simple.. start bareback. Learn your horses strides etc , then get in the saddle. I find it harder to find the stride on new horses, now that I am older and have a few injuries, and some numbness in my legs, and have found my self off balance , it is easy to critizice someone else, and hard to give helpful advice . I have seen many trail riders in perfect balance, even those that could not afford lessons.
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    08-28-2012, 02:42 PM
  #16
Yearling
I didn't know how much I didn't feel until I upped my instruction.

When you got to a certain "level", you stop being the passanger and become the driver, telling the horse what foot to put where in what stride, and relaying to the horse what you want in the next stride before the next stride happens. You can control what, where, when, how and why in every hoof of the horse, along with how the rest of the body maneuvers during a ride.

For some, "feel" comes naturally. For other people, you need to teach them how to feel before they understand it. I know people who have been riding for 20+ years and they still look down to check their lead.
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    08-28-2012, 02:44 PM
  #17
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by vergo97    
I've been riding two years and I've never been taught to feel the horse. Occasionally I get told to count their stride but I've never had to know where their legs are or if they are straight. When I do rising trot I've always been taught to glance down to see if I'm on the correct diagonal, I can't feel it.


I don't even know what that means
Vergo, you have only been riding for 2 years. That may seem like a long time for you, but in the grand scheme of horsemanship, that's a blip on the radar. You will have many more years to develop and learn your feel. Don't worry, you'll get it.

A good way to "feel" rising trot is to close your eyes when you're on the correct diagonal and feel what that's like without seeing. Open your eyes, switch your diagonal to the wrong one, and close them again. The trot will twist your body slightly. Its not a big twist, its subtle. But its there.
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    08-28-2012, 02:47 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Learning how the horses movements should feel is why so many people encourage learning on a schoolmaster over a greenie. I think it's a good skill to have regardless of your riding goals, but I don't think it's something that comes naturally. I certainly think you can figure some of it out on your own but it still requires training to know what to feel for - you'd just be doing the training of yourself to yourself. I don't think it's an instant knowledge/understanding thing.
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    08-28-2012, 03:05 PM
  #19
Started
Feel is very important for pattern classes, or even showing rail classes. I need to know where that back foot is, if the hock is under, if the hip is tilted, if the barrel is lifted, if the shoulder is lifted, if the neck is relaxed, just for a successful and seamless lope off from the walk. It can be the difference between an uncollected, head-bobbed, step into the lope, and a nice, collected, effortless departure.

I also want to be able to manipulate each part of the body with a tiny change of my leg. I want to be able to lift the ribcage and move it over, I want to be able to lift and move the shoulder, and then I want to lift and move the hip. Then I want to do multiple combinations at the same time.

If a horse is out of whack in his body position, then he does not have the same opportunity to perform correctly as a horse with a rider who is aware. It is a problem for people who miscommunicate and constantly get the wrong lead.
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    08-28-2012, 03:16 PM
  #20
Yearling
I know that I have a much easier time than a close friend does, feeling when a horse is right? If that makes since, I can tell when a horse is a tiny bit off, or wrong leads, or bending wrong without looking after a short amount of time riding the horse. I find I pick up each horses likes and dislikes easier than my friend as well. My friend can't tell leads, and has ridden completely lame horses before and didn't know it, she's been riding for eight years. But that is only compared to people I've ridden with, not as a whole.
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