We often talk about lightness, but what is implied is that we want lightness in our hand. I think to look for lightness in our hand set us up for failure. Because we can’t create lightness in our hands!
The lightness we feel in our hands is a result of our other aids working properly and communicating with our horses so lightly that we allow them to be light in the hand.
The heavy ride usually – at least I think so – starts in the leg! Not the hand. Let’s just for a moment forget our weight. Because we bring x kg into the saddle and those will always be there. I also think we are much more aware if our weight is used “lightly” or heavily. Think “am I falling into the horses back” that we feel. That we try to avoid. But we often then help ourselves by creating a barrage of white noise in our leg.
What I mean is, we are aware that we are not supposed to thumb in the saddle. And of course we don’t want to fall off. So what we do is clamp on with our legs. BUT the leg is supposed to be an aid, a way to communicate with the horse. How is the horse supposed to know when the leg is constantly on, if it’s an aid that he is supposed to respond to, or if it’s just us hanging on for dear life?
So for us to become light, we need to create an awareness of lightness in our leg. We need to be mindful of when our leg engages. We need to learn how to disengage it. We need to learn how engage it.
Only when we are not kicking and clamping, can we be light in the leg. Only when we are light in the leg can we be light in the hand.
So join me on today’s ride through the German countryside, talking about lightness in the leg.
You can find more Vlogs: https://longridehome.com/vlogs
Also make sure to check out our exercise of of the month on the subject which will give you exercise ideas to do, to see how light your leg is and how much control you have over it.
You can find the exercises of the month here: