Need an article to come before this explaining how we look to find our aids within that moment that our horses offer us a movement. That here we can find a truth that is difficult to find anywhere else. We can allow the horse to guide us completely on what needs to exist in our body for this moment to happen. Incredibly important to present this concept at the beginning, so this can be an awareness that both rider and instructor can support and enhance as opportunities present themselves. The rider take a strong feel on the outside rein trying to keep the horse to the outside of the arena not realizing they created the possibility of shoulder-in towards the center of the arena where the instructor is and where the horse has already decided that is where they want to go which is why the rider has to take a strong feel on the outside rein to start with. Trying to stop the horse from getting ever closer to the instructor, making each circle of the arena grow smaller and smaller.
If we are going to encourage our riders to discover how brilliant it can be to find the true aids of any movement in that moment when the horse offers the movement, here is a good place to start.
First we find the corner and then later we can take the corner to create the circle.
The corner is easy. It requires no control by the rider. The horse quickly comes to understand that he is to go around and around and around. And in this square that we ride, there are four corners. So the horse without any volition on our part, takes each of those four corners.
The rider can be encouraged to maintain the pattern of walk, to match and allow for the full range of movement of the horse and doesn't need to worry about control. Because experience has shown us that movement is always lost in the hands of the rider when they go for control. It is as if they can do one or the other, but not both. They can tell the horse to turn or they can try to stay in the rhythm of the movement of the walk.
So how do we help them get past this?
One way is instead of thinking we need to teach them how to turn the horse instead we encourage the rider to enjoy this time to just find what exists in the horse every time he goes through the corner. We guide them encouraging them to feel how there are three components to the corner that are constantly changing. The horse goes from straight through bend back to straight. A gentle progression, the progression so small at the walk that it can be difficult to discern where in the horse's body these changes occur. So how wonderful is it that there are four corners to go through. Again and again in any single hour endless opportunities to discover the patterns and energies that come through the horse as he goes through the corners.
Here all we are asking if for the rider to stay with the pattern of the movement of the walk and try to match what other elements might exist as the horse goes through each corner. Here we are not asking or even wanting to get the rider to ask for a turn. All we are doing is asking them to experience it. Again and again and again. But to experience it consciously in full movement, encouraging no restriction to exist from rider to horse. Never asking them to take against the movement that is the horse.
But one thing we as instructors must be aware of is that how much they feel will depend on the size of the corner taken. The horse that doesn't go deep into the corner, who cuts the corner short gives the rider much less to feel. Which we may have to just allow at this point in time because to try to change that, would change the dynamics of the rider from being this moment with the horse, to trying to influence and we know that in that moment their ability to stay with the movement of the walk will be lost.
Eventually know that finding the corner will help you find the circle, because the circle is just a corner unreleased or a corner taken 4 times within each circle. Please note the lesson of the circle will come in Level 2.