What do you do if you are scared to give your hands in the canter? – FearLESS Friday Throwback
If fear is a problem for you, then obviously holding can also become a problem for you. Scared to lose control, are we? It’s so important that you can give your hands all the time when you ride. The horse needs that space. The horse needs that freedom. To get that, you need to be able to give space, you need to be able to give your hands, and you need to be able to not halt. This is a really important point if you want to become a rider and you want to ride at the higher levels. We do not hold our horses. We do not hold their heads for them. We do not hold them in a pace. The horse must go alone. The horse has to do everything without a contact, and the contact is just our tiny little adjustments.
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Okay. So, scared to give your reins in the canter. Scared to lose control, are we? It’s so important that you can give your hands all the time when you ride. The horse needs that space. The horse needs that freedom, and you, if you want to become a need to understand the ideal contact is like 0.1 of a gram in each hand. To get that, you need to be able to give space, you need to be able to give your hands, and you need to be able to not halt.
If fear is a problem for you, then obviously holding can also become a problem for you. What you need to do, actually … if you’re scared to give your reins, scared to give up control, do it if you need to. I didn’t die. Wow. Wow. That was huge. I didn’t die. Wow, I didn’t die. That was awesome. Wow. I didn’t die.
And it might sound stupid, but if that’s what your brain needs to do it over, and over, and over again to realize that nothing bad happened, that you’re perfectly fine, then you do that. Then you push yourself and you go, “All right, just do it once and walk. Oh, my God, I didn’t die.” And you can do it as quick as that. “I didn’t die.” And then you go, “All right. I’m going to do a full whole second. One/one thousand. Oh my God! I didn’t die. All right. Can I do it for two/one thousand? One/one thousand, two/one thousand. Oh my God, I didn’t die.”
And I know you’re laughing going, “This is ridiculous,” but this is what your brain needs. Your brain needs to learn that nothing bad happens when you give the reins, and give freedom, and you don’t need to hold your horse. Right now she’s a bit heavy in the contact, so I just need to lighten her up a bit. But then I can ride without reins. I don’t need reins to turn. I can use my body to turn. I don’t need reins to stop. I can use my body to stop.
Play, play, play. There’s not enough people in the world playing with their horses. Play. The worst thing that’s going to happen is you’re going to go, “I’m going to give my reins enough to slow down.” She’s not going to. Don’t worry. Your reins are still there. You can use them. But try and use something else before you use your reins.
In the canter, just do it. Just do it. They’re okay that you have no control. Good girl. Okay. I’m in a really enclosed environment. Well, I’m not … the gate’s open. But you can see she’s just enjoying the freedom. Don’t think. And of course, do it safely. If your horse is crazy with reins, your horse is going to be crazy without reins.
But most of the time, the horse enjoys the freedom. And if the horse enjoys the freedom and does a little bit of a , okay. Maybe not what you’re looking for. But I still remember when I was 15 years-old watching an old Isabell Werth video, VHS. And the coach said to Isabell, “Give the reins. Give the reins. I get the feeling he wants to buck.” And he wanted the horse to buck. He said, “I love that the horse feels free to express himself, and is feeling really good, and wants to use his energy a little bit.” Now, I’m not saying you need to go that far. It’s okay.
What I want you to start with is just give your reins for a second and halt. Then give you reins for two seconds. Then give you rains for three seconds. Then do that and walk. Then do that and trot. Then do that and canter. And realize that when you give your reins … you can see that when I give my reins, she doesn’t go faster. And even some young horses will. If you’ve been holding them into the pace, they will grow faster. Let them go faster first try, then sit back, half out, and say, “Hey, when I give my reins, you don’t need to go faster.” Then give your reins again.
This is a really important point if you want to become a rider and you want to ride at the higher levels. We do not hold our horses. We do not hold their heads for them. We do not hold them in a pace. The horse must go alone. The horse has to do everything without a contact, and the contact is just our tiny little adjustments. Let me know how you go. I’d love to see the comments, and love to see how you guys are going with this.
If you liked today’s episode, make sure you hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And remember to leave a comment on how this has helped. If you want more help around fear, I am passionate about helping all riders on the planet that have fear in their riding to overcome that fear. I’ve created a free 30 day overcoming fear training package for you. All you got to do is going to fearlessridingsuccess.com. There’ll be a pop-up. Fill out your name and email, and you can get access to that for your training plan to get you on the road to overcoming your fear, so you can enjoy your riding again. And remember, stay FearLESS.