Due to some recent issues some of our students have been having I have decided to write this article to emphasize the importance of relaxation while riding.

The most important lesson you can ever learn about riding is RELAXATION! Without relaxation you cannot properly communicate with your horse. When you become tense you effectually make your horse tense, confused and argumentative, you start giving false signals and before long you are wondering why your horse and you are always in a fight.

The first thing to understand about relaxation on horseback is that it is fluid and ever changing. It is a continual process of releasing tension and moving into various rhythm's with our horse. Rhythmic relaxation is hard to master but once mastered can be applied to every aspect of your life.

Once you have understood the concept of rhythmic relaxation you must move on to step two. Trust your horse no matter what. This is a fundamental that cannot be bypassed. Now you may be wondering what exactly this means considering the dangers horses can present us with.  When I say 'trust your horse no matter what',  the trust I speak of is trusting your horses nature.

Learn to identify with your horses natural tendencies. Horses are always honest. Always straightforward. Don't over complicate them. If you are unsure how to identify your horses personality and natural tendencies then take the following three steps. Understand that most horses are usually positive and friendly they want to make you their friend, ask your instructor constantly about why your horse is behaving certain ways and keep a journal of how your horse acts reacts to things, how their expression looks doing certain things etc.
Much like people,  a playful horse will always have certain traits, as will a brave horse, a spooky horse and a dominate horse.

With rhythmic relaxation and trust comes confidence, balance and understanding.

No matter the issue relax first then trust the horse will behave like a horse then deal with it!