Riding a comfortable horse at a walk is the biggest problem in trail riding.
Nothing in the Natural horsemanship Clinicians manual prepares you for "how to ride the comfortable horse". In fact
I've dealt with sore horses from riders that had just finished their education with John Lyons, Pat Parelli,
Larry Whitesell, and others. These riders were taught release training, natural horsemanship, bitless bridles, and barefoot
trim. Just reward the horse and let him be comfortable on a loose rein. Most of these riders were using my saddle or Protector
pad. Regular saddles like Clinicians use seldom have a horse doing the loose walk of a comfortable horse.
If these clinicians have ever ridden a comfortable horse on a long trail
ride they wouldn't teach the way they do. Here's what happens to the comfortable horse at a walk:
they work no harder than necessary and the larger the horse the bigger the problem. Gaited have a greater problem
at a walk than most non-gaited horses. The LOOSE RELAXED WALK is called "THE DOG WALK" by TN. Walking
horse trainers. With a loose walk the horse can push a saddle front to rear as much as 2.5 in. at a walk. THIS
INITIALLY CAUSES AN ITCHY REACTION, LATER THE MID BACK AND LOIN ARE SO SORE THEY DROP AT BEING TOUCHED. The side
to side movement is also there in the low withered horse. That causes fluid under the skin & white hair over
a large area right where the saddle catches further movement.
normal horse and saddle have a degree of discomfort that puts the horse on the bit. The rider has
to check him for control and is paying attention to the horse and has the horse's attention at the same time. FOR
100'S OF YEARS THAT HAS BEEN KNOWN AS RIDING THE HORSE.
- IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO JUST THAT;
RIDE YOUR HORSE, NOT LET YOUR HORSE "TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE". Most horse training over the ages has been based
on how to over come the discomfort of the saddle while riding the horse. Now that the horse can be comfortable when ridden
a lot of things have to change. Subtle natural AIDS are all that's needed to control and communicate with your horse.
I see many FEI level Dressage riders that look like they are kick starting a Harley.
Since the introduction of the OrthoFlex saddles I made and
then the Corrector pad, now the Protector Pad and my new line of saddles, comfortable horses are more abundant on the trail.
You as riders need to give your horse some heel, let him know you are watching him. Keep contact with the reins and make him
step out with shorter steps and stay at attention to you at all time. It is nothing more than John Lyon's Mantra "
keep your horses attention at all times."