riding lessons for the earthbound

Today we will learn about feel. This is another important skill in riding that I have been wrong about all my life. Turns out it’s not about keeping your hands still relative to the horse’s withers. It’s about keeping your hands still relative to the horse’s mouth.

Play along at home! You will need:

  • 1 seven-year-old girl with long hair, or similar

If you don’t have a seven-year-old girl, find your most over-scheduled and under-slept friend and borrow theirs.

Now, take your seven-year-old girl. Pick up a strand of hair from each side of her head. The strand should be about the thickness of a rein (that’s 15mm for civilized people, five-eighths of an inch for Americans.)

Ask your seven-year-old girl to throw her head about like a cantering pony.

You need to maintain the exact same gentle, consistent pressure on her hair. Too loose and the pony will run away with you. Too tight and the pony will get angry and buck you off (and your seven-year-old girl will speak sharply to you, or cry.)

You may notice that this is impossible, and requires precognition! Keep working on it. I am.

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