Let's talk about technique
Technique and method: the good riding basic principles and their application
The starting point for work on 'equestrian technique' is to have obtained a good basic position and independence of all parts of the body in the saddle and therefore being able to follow the movement of the horse. At this point we can talk about technique. What is technique? It refers to the means available to the rider to achieve the predetermined goal. What is the purpose of the rider? To obtain a perfect relationship with their horse: what in equestrian slang we call 'training' and in French 'dresser'. What is the meaning of 'dressage'?
It is a rider who establishes with the horse a 'coded language' in order to obtain a deep complicity. For this purpose, each rider may have a slightly different method but everyone must have common characteristics: trust, respect, common sense, constancy and above all patience. It is better to perform simple exercises that promote the well-being and harmony of the combination rather than perform complicated exercises that create disagreement and suffering for the horse. During the various phases of the work there may be times of crisis and of disagreement but if the rider pays careful attention, uses logic and progression, gentleness, calmness and patience, these disagreements become minimal. First of all we need to be aware of the horse's ability to respond to our requests.
It is the correct programming of daily work, varied and distributed in the long term, together with solid technical capability that allow the rider to improve the body and mind of the horse, to make the work fun and enjoyable for it, to grow and become a good athlete with a prolonged career over time. Seeing the technical level of competition today and observing how the best riders ride their horses, we realise the enormous importance they attach to dressage.
It is also true that these wonderful riders show us during competitions the result of a work based on reflection that is well planned and visionary, tailored to each horse: in practice they present to us the ‘finished product’.
Often, however, unfortunately, the long path undertaken to achieve these results is not taken into account, it is not understood, or even misunderstood by most people and riders who only see the end result and try to copy it and interpret it in their own way, thereby making great mistakes. In fact what great riders are able to do is not as difficult as it may seem. Simply follow the basic rules of good riding and have the sensitivity needed to apply them.