Unique riding method?
I posted this in my other thread on falling off a bunch with my previous instructor. I am looking at getting a new instructor, and have questions about one I visited the other day. I think my question got buried in my last post, so I'm hoping you guys don't mind me posting it as a separate thread. Thanks!
So I've been looking around at the options available for a new instructor. I contacted one who is well known in the region, and he called me back immediately. Went out to see his place and observed a lesson on Friday. His whole method is pretty much the antithesis of what I have been learning. He is focused on the communication between rider and horse, and how our breath, posture, balance, etc. affect the horse's movement and our communication. One of the first things he told me was that I could tell a horse to start and stop with my breath and weight alone.
He had me get up on one of his horses for about 10 minutes. He showed me how to breathe in and move my pelvis forward to instruct the horse to move, and how to breathe out and shift my weight on my pelvis slightly backward to stop the horse. We also practiced turning through the movement and slight turning of my body, instead of using an open rein. Needless to say, I was in awe. To top it all off, I felt like the horse was listening to me to see what I would ask for next, instead of wishing she was off sleeping or eating instead.
I then watched as he took two green riders (one had never ridden before) and within minutes they were able to start, stop, and wind their horses through a set of cones (at a gentle walk, of course) without problem. I also watched as he took the reigns of the more experienced rider's horse (she told me she'd ridden twice as a child) and asked her to start, stop and turn the horse with only her body, no use of the reigns. He held the reigns only for safety (I watched, he didn't lead the horse at all, reins were slack the entire time). She then proceeded to take her horse through the cones using only her body and shifting of weight to ask it to start, stop, turn, etc.
Has anyone else ever seen this type of riding before? The instructor swears his horses are not specially trained to respond to it, but that his methods can be used on any horse.
I felt really safe and at ease with him, his horses, and his method, so I'm contemplating trying a few lessons even though they're almost twice what I was paying before. I can't seem to find any info online about this sort of riding technique though, so I'm wondering if you guys know anything about it.