Experience, naturalness and fitness
Being horsemen, having an equestrian culture, and knowing the horse are the basis to create an athletic horse
To act in accordance with the movement of the horse, it is very important to free the body of all the muscle tension we are often unaware of.
Only the muscles that are used for a certain action should be activated to the extent that is necessary, all the other muscles must remain loose and free of tension. It's easy to fall into the trap of becoming rigid when we performing the required actions in order to turn, slow down or change pace. With self-control we can control the reactions of our body and try to keep the naturalness and fluency in the saddle.
In order to train a horse well, experience is necessary. This is the reason for the saying 'Young rider, old horse. Old rider, young horse'. Without the necessary experience and without the technical skills, we cannot train horses. If we are beginner riders, we must try to learn as much as possible from our horse, the best of teachers, and follow a method based on the basic principles of good riding. But what is man's experience in the world of horses? Is it the result of the time we spend in contact with the horses? Does it depend on the number of horses ridden? The above is certainly necessary, but not sufficient.
Experience is made through constant observation, self-criticism, and correction of the way we act, meditating on the results achieved, both positive and negative, and always acting with humility, starting from the premise that we are the ones who are wrong, while the horse is simply a reflection of our mistakes. The more experience is gained, the more we know the horse in depth, the more we are able to interpret its behavior and reactions.
Like the human body must be developed, trained and athletic, in order to do sports, the horse has to train its body and learn to accept the rider's actions obeying them to become a good athlete. Let us ask ourselves how a dancer or a gymnast could perform at best if his or her movements were clumsy, due to something limiting the freedom of their body. The same applies to horses. How can they best express themselves, if they are forced by strong and excessive actions restricting their freedom of movement? Let us focus first of all on being light in the saddle and sensitive and delicate with the aids. Let us give the horse freedom to move and use its neck and shoulders for better balance.