The definition of "light riding" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-01-2010, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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The definition of "light riding"

Okay so I'm not exactly sure if this belongs here or in training.

Basically what I'm curious about is what your definition of "light riding" is. I'm sure it means different things depending on the horse. Say your horse is recovering from some leg issues and the vet said he's alright for light riding.

So your horse isn't lame but you don't do anything "serious" with him. So then what do you do that considers it light riding? I guess I've always only heard the term in reference to a negative. So I'm not quite sure what it even portains to anymore.

Hopefully you will understand what I'm trying to say.

"I was eight years old, and I've never forgotten her face when she told me about watching you ride. She told me she saw you, and your horse was dancing in the moonlight."
-- A.C. Crispin's "Sylvester"
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-01-2010, 04:58 AM
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Generally its a common consensus that a young colt starting under saddle begins with light training, where when the rider/trainer begins with the mount and starting the ride, its limited to time and tasks. With a young one beginning, I keep it under 15 minutes of riding time in each session, and never step into a fast or hard pace. I dont want to damage the joints from stressful or excessive work. Now I am a pretty light fellow, so my body weight is different from a heavier rider, and needs to be taken into consideration when starting a colt.

I usually spend that time with the basics and covering them several times in short durations. When they mature, then moving out of light riding will also be easier. Does that help?

Dixon's Red Hot Ember
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-01-2010, 08:14 AM
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both good definitions of light riding. it could also refer to a horse which has an issue whereby it is only suitable for say, an hours hacking of walk and trot, not a lot of canter, jumping so as to not put a strain on any old infirmities. a horse that maybe only got ridden a few days per week, not all of the time. could also refer to a good riding postion, whereby the rider is holding a portion of thier own wieght, by sitting tall and not riding like a sack of potatoes. thereby reducing the pressure on the back, and of course, riding with light hands, or with a liht contact.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-01-2010, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, that helps alot. Thank you.

"I was eight years old, and I've never forgotten her face when she told me about watching you ride. She told me she saw you, and your horse was dancing in the moonlight."
-- A.C. Crispin's "Sylvester"
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-01-2010, 08:10 PM
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To me, light riding isn't put into how long you ride as much as it is just 'how' you ride.

For example, light riding to me is a variety of things, depending on how and what you work. A fifteen minute/half hour ride that includes a walk, trot, canter, gallop, or run is light to me as long as the horse doesn't work up a sweat. An example I would use if I had to would be my mare and I going on a half hour ride two miles down the road and back, working at a walk, trot, and canter and slow gallop... when we got home, not only was she not sweaty at all, but she wasn't even breathing hard, hence my idea of a 'light ride' for her.
At the same time, an all day/five hour/seven hour/twelve hour, etcetera ride could be considered 'light riding' by me if you stay in a walk/trot and, at the end o the day, the horse isn't sweating badly. An example of this would e when I started my gelding at two years old. We didn't ride very long at first, but we did go on quite a few rides that lasted six plus hours... we only walked with minimal trotting and by the end of the ride, he wasn't tired, he wasn't sweaty, and I csidered what we did to be 'light riding'. Since then, our rides have gotten progressively longer and a bit 'harder', but still what I'd consider 'light', as we haven't got to the point that I consider 'hard/working riding' as he's still young (just a few months shy of four)

Light riding, in my opinion, isn't how long you ride, but how you work the horse.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)

Last edited by Britt; 01-01-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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