I had a great lesson the other day. We had some nice long and low moments. Being a TB the horse I rode had a lot of movement and I had trouble here and there with steady contact. Quite a change from the QH I usually ride. At the end I was asked to dismount while my instructor left the arena.

She quickly returned with a small trampoline and a bridle.


She set the trampoline down and called over some of the other students. My instructor became “the horse” by placing the bridle over her head and her hands on the snaffle bit, fingers away from her face. She asked me to became “the rider”. I picked up the reins, mounted the trampoline and picked up a sitting trot. I shifted my weight from leg to leg / side to side/ up and down trying to achieve the same motion as when I’m mounted.

If my elbows opened enough to absorb the motion “the horse” barely felt the bit moving, even when asking to turn left or right. The minute I tensed my arms the bit became jerky and she’d stumble back towards me. Ouch! We traded places and I became “the horse”.

It was an eye opening experience. Although I didn’t have a bit in my mouth I could sympathize with the horse. I didn’t like the jerky motions either and even kicked out at one point. We experimented with two other riders.

While mounted you could visualize:
1. that your wrists are on a shelf
2. your hands are bookends with books between them