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Hello,

I teach riding occasionally on the side and I'm always looking for ways to improve my communication with students. I've always admired instructors that incorporate little phrases (metaphors, idioms, etc) to help conceptualize an idea to the rider. Things like "push your belt buckle forward" or "shoulders like a queen".

What are your favorite riding phrases?
 

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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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Explain that "still hands" means in relation to the horse's mouth, not in relation to the rider.

"Lift your sternum" (which works better than "sit up" or "shoulders back" and fixes a lot of things at once).

Telling riders to "Push your knees down and back" also fixes several things at once, instead of having to tell them to get their lower leg farther back, or drop their heels, or stop gripping up, etc.

"Thumbs on top" also helps rotate the elbows in and gets the hands in a better position.

Generally, trying to rephrase things that aren't getting through to riders, even if it's just a slightly different way of putting something, can make them think about it differently in a way that works for them, so it's something to play with on an individual basis, too.
 

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Breathe...inhale 1, 2, 3... exhale 1, 2, 3...


Look where you are going not where you not want to be {eyes up}


Hold the baby chick, not squash them {close your hand softly}


Your arms are elastic rubber-bands...don't get zapped.


Close your eyes and feel the step....


Point where you want to go with your bellybutton...


Sit down, not perch...you're not a bird and you don't fly without your horses wings engaged.


Look for your spot to ride to...focus and the horse will follow your gaze...drop your eyes, turn your head and the horse will comply.


Ride with positive thoughts...if you think it can happen, it will! Good or bad...


Smile...it helps to relax you.


Sing.. breaks the tension and makes you breathe.


There are others but think the forum censors will "pop" if written...risque is a polite term. :|

:runninghorse2:...
 

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Explain that "still hands" means in relation to the horse's mouth, not in relation to the rider.
.
We aren’t as politically correct in the trail riding world, lol

We say “Don’t ride that horse’s head” :cowboy:
 

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Sometimes things I've heard people say when giving riding advice is rather crude, so I won't say it.

That being said, one of the not crude ones is "Don't look at the ground. Where you look is where you'll go." It's crazy how much your balance is affected by what direction you're looking.
 

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I only took “traditional” lessons for a short amount of time when I was a teen... but one thing I remember my instructor used was that “legs should be like wet towels” they need to be on the horse but not around it


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The small times I teach or help out others I'm very hands on. You can preach and preach until the cows come home but showing someone where you want their body parts or how something should feel is always how I was taught and how I think people learn the best.

I use time on the ground to manipulate the leg and show the rider how it should fall against the side of the horse, how the foot and heel should be positioned, how different pulls on the reins changes things.
Spending the time to explain proper positions helps a lot.
Then you can put words to certain position points.
 

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The PERFECT thing just got released, to help with this. There's a new, free podcast from Mary Wanless, completely dedicated to explaining riding concepts in easy to understand ways. It's listed as "Mary Wanless - Ride with Your Mind," and you should be able to look it up on whatever podcast app you use. I've listened to the first four episodes and it's awesome!!
 

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“Rise and fall with the leg against the wall” (posting on the horses outside leg) one that I have heard of so many times, “Heels down, elbows in, thumbs up”( the thumbs up is misleading, just making sure that your wrists are not flat)
 
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