Riding on my own on the trail without the fear of ‘what if…’
Well said, Yolanda, and very achievable!
Such a great instructor clear, direct and makes good sense. I am72 started riding lessons at 58 had know prior experience.Bought an x-race horse who was a winner until he was 11. No major injuries, beautiful personality . I love the kind touch, learnt old school way so nice to build that relationship and trust.
Thank you Diane!!
Great instruction! I am 58 going on 59 learning to ride for the first time. I have been in lessons for 2 yrs now..So overcoming fear has been a biggie for me. I have a beautiful little Arab that I’m in love with and she’s a little bit spooky and we have worked on that a lot so she’s calmed down quite a bit. So getting her out on the trail by ourselves is a goal. And by trail I mean it’s really just a track around the property. She does well following other horses..But gets Spooky when I’m on her out there. On the ground no problem at all. Most of our work is in an arena. She gets distracted quite easily by things going on around the arena. Thank you for offering this course!
So good to have you here Julie! I am glad you are enjoying the workshop!
I too would also like to go trail riding alone
Me too! I know this will be a tricky one!
Same here, I would love to ride my horse on a trail by myself .😅I never go because I am scared
Thank you for the free course.
It sure helps I did learn about the rising trot
To move in total balance consistantly with my horse so I dont block him, and he gets his hind legs under.
Good riding goal Trish!
Connecting with my horse the bond is not there . I use to ride when I was younger .I use to run barrels and I was good . I love running it put me in another world . I am 57 now I have had horses for the last 20 years but I won’t ride because someone told me I don’t know how to ride . And it’s true I never was taught how to ride the right way never knew about leg Cues balance. Now when I get on a horse I can’t enjoy my ride I am so scared I am going to mess up my horse I can’t relax and I know my horse feels it that he can’t relax . I want a closeness with my horse and I can’t . I know it’s me but I can’t go it with out hearing that one person who told me I can ride is in my head . But I had to of know something because I was good at barrels and poles and other stuff .
You are not alone and what you experiencing is very common. Unfortunately, telling ourselves something is “just in our heads” is not a very effective way of solving the issue. I am confident you will find your joy in riding again. Listen to yourself and go at the pace that feels good to you – no matter what anyone else has to say!
Learning how to best take care of the horse, including emergency situations. The practical horse healthcare knowledge.
Hi Monika! Great new area of the horse world to be studying and learning!
Have my horse trust in my ability to handle anything that comes up on the trail.
This sounds like a wonderful journey to be working on together!
To have e a horse of my own and built this bond together with trust and happiness. Ride trails alone and improve my riding skills with her. Have our moments together doing nothing, also with the herd
What an exciting new challenge!
Hi, thank you again for the wonderful tips!
You are so welcome Joanna!
I'm getting back into riding after 30+ years away and realizing that my biggest challenge is regaining my confidence. My body is different than it was at age 19 and I'm much more afraid of injury! I also never really learned the basics so I'm essentially starting from scratch. I'm getting to know my horse and feel comfortable with him, on the ground, before I ride him.
Coming back to riding after a long hiatus can feel very different, but you are in the right place as many in our community here will also relate to what you are feeling!
Love your approach Laura, getting comfortable on the ground first. To confirm what Callie said, I’m one of likely many others who are in your camp at 18 years OUT of the saddle. As I approach the grand ripe age of 60,I am finding joy again on a horses back! It’s baby steps for me, currently bareback and only walking while learning how to prevent my hips from locking up and cramping. Gotta say it’s a huge joy nonetheless.
Soooo much respect and adoration for Callie who is thorough, concise, respectful of human and horse, well studied and frankly, admired for all her hard work and commitment.
Thank you Callie for your free workshops that help people like myself stay engaged and growing.
Have fun Laura!
Using the tips from the third video about learning to move more in balance, my next challenge will be improving my rising trot (at 42, it’s something I’m only just learning) but I feel the tips Callie has given are going to go a long way in helping myself.
I am so happy that you are using and enjoying these tips Jessy!
Thank you! Learning to trust myself and my horse.
This element of trust is so, so important!
Thankyou Callie!! I've really enjoyed listening & watching you this past week! You have cleared up a couple of things for me, I like the way you explain things.
Thank you for doing the exercise with closed eyes, I'm registered blind and have been riding for the past four years and it was nice to know you use what is normal for myself as a training exercise! My next challenge is to loan a horse and hopefully one day own my own horse…it's tricky but not impossible right? Lol x
With an eye toward being the best partner for my horse, and improving my seat, balance, and alignment in the saddle so that my abilities and understanding continue to grow, I want to have concrete exercises to keep riding fun and meaningful for both of us.
Those are beautiful and wonderful goals for you and your horse as partners. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Mindy, thank you for sending in your video and I hope the feedback on the live call today was helpful!
I so enjoy all your videos and try to apply them when I ride my own horse. I have so many things I need and want to work on, and am wondering if you could reach out and perhaps we can discuss my coming to your farm for a week or so of lessons. I currently live in Colorado, but will be back East for several weeks during Thanksgiving.
Thank you so very much. I think riding with you will take me to the edge of my comfort zone, which is what I am struggling with.
It would be wonderful for you to join in one of HorseClass' in-person clinics or training intensives during your trip. We have an upcoming In Hand clinic with Patrick King, happening October 23-24. Learn more about the in-person offerings at Honey Brook Stables here: https://www.horseclass.com/in-person-training/
Hi Suzanne, we would love to have you come to the farm! Contact us at [email protected] and we can let you know the different options we have at the farm this year and next year!
My challenge is getting a good balanced seat (no hollow back and tipping forward, no digging into a chair seat either), so my horse is also as comfortable and stable as possible, including for tighter turns at the canter.
Yes! The better our riding becomes, the better it is for our horses!
Hi, I am 66 and started riding at 60. My horse is a star and a real gentleman. I know deep down that he will look after me and not do anything crazy, I so want to ride him forward and let him have fun but I get scared and hold him back, oh to be confident enough to have fun and enjoy him
Horses are incredibly powerful creatures, yet they have the grace and awareness to take care of us in the saddle. However, when we are tense or unbalanced we create restriction to our horse's body and it makes it difficult for both us and the horse to carry a movement.
Whenever I feel nervous about allowing my horse to move more forward, I always try to come back to my breath and body awareness. Starting at the walk, focus on a spot where you feel tension in your body. Breathe into that tension and try to relax it with your exhale. Then move to the next spot, breathing down into your core and down through your feet. Imagine that as you breathe in and out you and your horse are melding together, and into the earth beneath. Gradually, once you have brought attention and some release to each tense area in your body, start to focus on your hip movement in sync with your horse's hoof fall. Feel how you lift and rock together. Sometimes it helps to close your eyes to feel this over a few strides.
Then once you feel relaxed and attuned with each other, exhale and imagine forward. Simply think trot and imagine it happening before you even ask for it. Often at this point the horse may offer it without you needing to use your aids or cues. If not, ask softly at first so as to maintain your relaxed seat, only increasing the ask as needed but keeping attention on remaining relaxed through your body and legs. Remember your breath and try to relax one spot over a few strides in the trot, then return to walk. Repeat until the transition feels easier for you and your horse–this will build confidence for him to move more forward later into the canter.
Would love to hear how it goes if you happen to try this exercise!
Great insights and imagery. Will definitely be working with this — Thanks, Yorke!
I love your goal of riding forward Catherine!
Thank you for your reply, I will certainly be more aware of my breathing and being one with my lovely boy
My next riding challenge would be to know that whatever happens, I would be able to stay on the horse. Because of past falls, I carry a certain amount of fear when I ride. As a child, I didn’t think about the risk of injury, I just enjoyed riding! As I get older, getting injured is more of a concern, especially at my age and with back and neck pain. Three different doctors have told me that a hard fall (or any severe trauma to my back) could be fatal or leave me paralyzed, and that is a frightful thought. I still ride, but usually at a walk or easy gallop. I was always taught to control my fear, push through it, and get back on the horse…and that was supposed to increase my confidence, but you are right about needing to find the right level of challenge for our good AND our horse’s good, and that too much fear can actually decrease our confidence. I have learned the benefits of viewing and feeling my fear objectively, examining it without judgment or criticism (I had to make a conscious commitment to that!) The four exercises in this video are excellent! I found that closing my eyes when I ride helps tremendously in getting soft in my body and following the movement of my horse. One thing I still need to work on is bringing my leg back further into alignment. This workshop has been fantastic! Thank you so much, Callie!!! Really looking forward to starting the new course!!!
Thank you for this comment and for sharing Teri!
I want to improve my riding skills so that my confidence in myself can grow. Also, so that my horse’s confidence in me can grow.
Confidence really does go both ways, well said Cindy!
I love these courses – all is so well presented
The leg position has taught me to avoid putting too much weight in the stirrups and tightening the seat muscles.
The check of your breathing works great when my horse gets tense. I can feel that he is coming back to me. Even in a Western saddle my horse will respond to my breathing.
Thank you for being here Kari!
My next challenge is learning to find a better seat at canter.
I plan to start with what I learned in these three videos about body posture and position, relaxing, etc. I plan to use the hand on the back of the saddle technique as well as the eyes closed technique to help find my right posture for a relaxed solid seat.
As I gain confidence in my seat, I plan to carry that into the canter. From there I want to work up to feeling confident in a full gallop.
One step at a time… 🙂
I would love to know how these exercises go for you as you give them a try!
wow about the too green horse i have the ohter issue one of hte horse i ride who is old is too lay back he would stand at mouting block for 5 minus and get told the same old show him who bos who he go no over and over till finally you get a fine i move i say some where in the middle
wow i can so much relat to you that relive when you can discmound i get that 1 a month with the requred leson more of the ride is fun till next month when it a lot of yelling because i h have not improve because stable full believe in heel down and so on think it part of life for safety and right now it that or no horse for a long time
I really love your calm clear explanations and examples. I feel connected to my horse but I would like to progress and become a more physically balanced rider with a better game plan for each ride. I am proud of both of us today as we were venturing into a large pasture that we haven't ridden in for a while and he began stomping in an uncharacteristic manner. Rather than assuming that he was being difficult I hopped off and looked at him and a huge bot fly was torturing him. We relocated to the fly free arena and continued to have a great ride.
Thank you Susie! I am so glad you are here in the workshop!
My next challenge is to find a way to make my sweet Emma really enjoy pour time together The thing that makes me the most sad and wondering what's wrong with me is when she starts rearing. Often on trail but sometimes on the ring too. I know she is not afraid, I don't see anything hurting her, it just seems to become an habit and it makes me feel so helpless and not good enough for her…
Hi Solange, I am so sorry to hear your frustration. You are asking the right question of how to enjoy your time together with Emma. What makes you feel the best with her now? Where do the two of you feel connected?
Thanks for you reply Callie. And thanks for all the good advices from the videos, your kindness and generousity make me feel better everytime I watch! Actually, the moment we feel the best me and Emma is when the work session is over and we relax while she graze. I have started to work with her with food rewards and that have improve our relationship too. When she hears “good Girl” and get the reward, I know she feels good because we have understand each other. It's just that I know if she would have the choice, she would rather stay with her friends than be with me.
Hi Solange, honestly I think its ok that our horses would choose their horse friends. In fact, it is probably very healthy. Think of how much more time they get to spend with them than with us! And those healthy social connections are so important for our horse's happiness in all the hours we are not there working with them.
I really love your approach to riding. I love the idea that I don’t have to dominate my horse to have a relationship. I got my horse when he was 4 and I was 62. My first horse, no idea how to ride. Now I’m 69 and he is 11. I have so much fear because of what went on when he was young and we were both green. Pls I feel so vulnerable now because of my age. It is so encouraging to see how many older riders there are in your group. I have always had a trainer, now I can’t afford that. I’m actually working at the barn where I board to offset the cost of board. Turns out retired people can’t really afford to have a horse! Lol. I want to start riding him by myself, but keep procrastinating… going for nice long hand walks instead of getting on him. We have a great relationship on the ground. We are really close, I am just blown away by his personality and intelligence and the way he communicates with me, but I’m not sure how to bridge the gap to actually riding him.
Hi Cathy, I would listen to your gut about how and when to start riding. Building this relationship on the ground is wonderful and so, so important. However a great relationship on the ground does not mean that riding will then be easier. There is still the skills of riding, the horse learning the riding cues, and the horse/rider match in terms of how athletic and reactive the horse is and how skilled the rider is. Sometimes fears hold us back from what we CAN do and other times fear is there to keep us safe.
Hi Cathy I hear you. I am an older rider riding my young green horse. I’m lucky to have a more experienced friend with a very steady horse to ride out with. This gives my youngster so much more confidence. Would this be an option for you? Otherwise try it in very small steps eg mount ride 10 meters away from property then go back. Next day try 15 meters and gradually increase it over time. This way you slowly build your confidence level by slowly expanding your comfort circle.
Both me and my horse are currently not doing as well as I'd like. I have a lot of extra tension that did not used to be there preCOVID, he has some issues in his shoulders that make it harder to move freely, specially with me as a backpack. So for me the objective is to find a way to deal with the tension, and keep him moving in the mean time to keep his body loose. So we do a lot of walking in hand and groundwork, which is good for his shoulders, but less so for maintaning stamina. Freeing my body will hopefully make riding comfortable and thus possible again and break this circle we are currently in.
I love the leg release you do and will definitely try this. It may work better when by myself than the ones I knew already.
I know you are not alone in having more tension these days! Pay attention to anything that helps you feel better – even sitting in the barn for a few moments smelling the hay and listening to horses much hay (one of my personal favorites!)
Learn to ride the canter more smoothly. I started neck reining with Indy last Tues after I fell off I got back i wanted to learn how to neck rope even though I fell off and got back I still wanted to push that comfort zone. Im taking this weekend off due to both of us are still sore but im still going to see and just hang out with him, he has brought back that passion of riding and making it fun again we keep getting better together ❤
Hi John! Enjoy your weekend just hanging out with Indy!
My next challenge is to try and remember how much fun I had when I was much younger. I rode a lot many years ago, and really never thought about how to ride. I just rode. This is not because I was a good rider. It was that I had no real fear of anything. Which is just how young people think. Which I will say was not fair to the horses I rode. I started refresher lessons this past spring, and now I am learning to really ride. I am struggling in my lessons with my instructor because we have some different philosophies about horsemanship. I bought my first horse ever owned in July of this year. I bought a horse that was trained very well, and I feel like I am confusing my horse. I like my instructor a lot, but I don't want to be a cookie cutter (I love your words here). I really don't want to rush my learning. Finding you on YouTube was the best thing for me and my horse. I so appreciate how much you include the horse in the learning process. Thank you for your videos. You are a great instructor. This video today helped some things really click for me.
Thank you so much for watching the videos and I am so happy this was helpful. Great to have you in the workshop!
My horse shys a lot and as I am 71 yr old have lost my confidence.I rode for about 15 years but still love it but get very tense when he shys.Bucking doesn't bother me cause my stallion was good at that.I just want to get my confidence back but his shying makes me nervous.
Hi Rhonda, is this horse inexperienced or generally anxious? Or just very reactive? What do you think is causing the shying and is it something you believe may improve for this horse?
Sometimes horses just are not a good fit for us at a certain stage in our riding and thats ok too 🙂
I really understand where Donna (above) is coming from. Thank you for that comment Donna!
I have a question. I only get to ride school horses, and as we all know they can get dull to the leg and generally sour with riding round and round the school. There is one horse that I had difficulty with getting him into a good trot and keeping the trot going. My instructor told me to back up the leg with the whip and when this has little effect, really whack him. At this he pins his ears back rasies his head and kicks out and still doesnt go forwards. Now, if this was my horse, I might be tempted to stop the schooling for the day and do something else, but it is my only ride for the week, and I am wanting to get that trot and the instructor informs me that “this is just him testing you” and “be firmer with him”. So, my question is this, do I trust the instructor and continue to hit him until the behaviour stops and he settles into work, or the horse? By the way, he is known for doing this its not just me it happens to.
(I have ceased having lessons at that school, and drive much further away to now ride a fantastic forward going gelding and get to improve my skills on a horse that enjoys dressage).
I'm so glad you found a new barn and horse–and, I hope, more horse-centered instructor–for your lessons! I also ride once a week. Having a forward horse who is also steady and rarely spooks (he was once concerned about a suspicious blue bucket, lol) has been a great help. It means I can focus on a seat that makes the ride as enjoyable as possible for him. I also try to switch things up both in the ring (games, not just circle and pattern work) and by opting for trail rides every two or three weeks. Last week I was with a new horse who is very sensitive about grooming and who bit me very hard on the thigh though I thought I was going slow. My plan for the coming week is to let my instructor know that if I'll be staying with Figgy, I want to go very very slow with working with her, even if it means we don't make it to the ring. I think a responsive instructor should listen to your concerns and not just tell you to whip your horse into the trot (as it may get him there but not in a way that addresses the horse's underlying needs). My two cents and then some. Enjoy your new lesson horse!
So, just to clarify – Callie, my question is really this – do I trust the instructor over the horse when the horse tells me “NO”?
Thanks for all the great advice!
Hi Helen, thanks for your question, I know you have not been the only one in that situation. I believe you made the right choice in finding another barn. I can't answer what was going on with this horse – he may have been in pain, maybe his saddle didn't fit well, maybe he did just learn he could do this behavior. But it sounds as though you are at a better place now!
I'm so glad I found you. I'm currently into my 2nd year of owning my beautiful horse and my confidence has been very up and down. I hadn't been on a horse since a teenager. I can relate to everything you say. I've been told. I'm to soft, show who's boss. Everything you have said. I started to not like riding. I just focused on the care side but I Just started riding again and had 2 great rides out and watching and listening to your advice is really helping me. We have a wonderful bond to which is very special. She 21 and I was given her as she wasn't wanted anymore and everyone mentions how amazing she looks like which is nice to hear. Together we make each others worlds better I feel.
Beautifully said Kerry!
Without a doubt, you are the best riding instructor!! Explaining the whys, using language suitable for all levels, making you believe you can, Sometimes I wish I was a fly riding on your shoulder as you ride!! I started riding lessons at age 70, and at 81 am thinking should I continue due to osteopaenia in R hip. Not riding is 2nd to giving up driving a car for me. Whatever I decide, I will continue to watch your videos because it keeps the spark alive! Thank you, Callie.
Thank you so much Antionette! You and the other riders in our community who start riding later in life are an absolute inspiration to me too! I want to be like you and always be learning and taking on new challenges – my whole life! 🙂
To ride my horse in a straight line and canter on the right leg. She is 13 and has never been schooled before.
Just like us, they are never to old to learn!
I am so loving these videos, Callie. I love the way you teach. So much in video three was important for me and my position. Am always getting the,”You're too far forward, shoulders back, heels down!” comments shouted at me in lessons that my brain scrambles and I just think there is SO MUCH wrong with my position that I'm beyond hope! Definitely going to try some of those exercises when I'm working alone with Pistache…alongside all the excellent stuff in your ‘Stay in the Saddle' book, which has completely changed my ‘alone sessions'. Thank you. My next challenge is to really develop my connection and communication with Pistache.
Hi Sarah! I am glad you are enjoying this workshop and it is helping you and Pistache!
My next challenge is feeling more comfortable in the canter. When my 21 yr old quarter gelding goes into a canter sometimes it feels really ackward and unbalanced. Is this cross-cantering? If this is cross-cantering what can I do about it? Is there a technique or method for a horse to transition from a trot to a canter? Is there something I need to do in my cues to have him start a canter and when to start a canter? Thanks for this great online workshop. I really appreciate all you do!
Great to have you here! I have a video that will help you a lot with this question, and how to help a horse with an unbalanced canter, whether its a 4 beat canter, cross canter, or just lack of balance. Here's the link: https://www.horseclass.com/blog/some-horse-are-uncomfortable-to-ride-a-specific-example-and-how-to-help/
I would like to feel confident in the way that I am communicating to my horse while riding and being better balanced.
I would also like to be able to go on trail rides with my horse
Great next challenges Kelly! I would love to be a part of this journey with you as we open up enrollment for the Balanced Riding Course on Tuesday!
Hi Callie, really looking forward to seeing the new version of the Balanced Riding Course! I'm 61 and have been learning for two years. This week, I have leased a lovely Gypsy Cob/Arab and am really looking forward to learning with him. Trot/canter transitions are my. biggest challenge. I was learning on a 16.3 Thoroughbred, and I think I found his size daunting. Much closer to the ground now, at 14.2.. I am focussing on relaxing and your tips re leg and heel position are really good. Thanks, Kerry
I am excited to open up the course next week!
My ultimate goal is to become a better rider for my horses and not restrict their movement. However.. I'm going to have back surgery soon and the Dr said it'll be 6 months for full recovery; to ride again. So meanwhile, I plan to continue working with them on the ground, taking walks with them in the fields, and doing liberty stuff with them. One challenge that I have with Selena is: for her to keep trotting until I ask her to stop. ThIs is one of the things that we'll be working on and building on from the ground. So maybe when we do ride again, it'll be better:)
Hi Lorraine! I wish you the best of luck going into this surgery and good for you to take this opportunity and focus on your ground work.
Hi I’m really enjoying the free clinic. I will be joining soon. I have one question , you say weight in trott goes into thigh. Where? Inside,front, does your thigh becoming slightly firm ?
Hi Chelle, yes, the inside of your thigh. Exactly where depends on how your saddle fits you, however your leg should be able to hang that your weight is on your thigh with your toes and knees facing relatively straight forward.
Another incredible video and tutoring lesson and so invaluable for myself as mentioned being a novice rider. I love the initiative to work symbiotically with the horse and their natural motion and I can't wait to close my eyes! Could you please come to Australian and do some clinic's!
Thank you so much Callie!
Hi Leana, I am so glad you enjoyed the video! Unfortunately I don't teach clinics, I put all my attention into our online courses, and enrollment for the Balanced Riding Course will be opening this Tuesday 🙂
I began riding very late in life (50+)and so getting riding lessons was not easy at all. I had two main problems with instructors. One that they kept shouting the very things you speak of in the clinic and the other is that due to my age, they assumed I had been riding years before and knew the basics. This left me very disillusioned and despondency and tears. I had to teach myself but this left me with many occurrences that I had no ability to solve. Your method of illustration on the rider position is very effective and really puts it into perspective. I have begun to implement your teachings and when I put looked for my “perfect” seat, I was able to stand without tilting forward. I had my husband leading from the front and practiced these to enforce the principal. I am truly grateful and really appreciated the time it took to do this incredibly helpful clinic. Have followed a lot of your work over the years and have found you to truly be able to bring the point across, which few people are able to do. I really liked your step by step approach to problem solving. Thank you most sincerely.
Hi Inge, thank you so much for your kind words! I am so glad the workshop and live clinics have been so helpful for you!
I would like to feel the real joy of riding again! Was in a couple of accidents with my horse and can’t enjoy riding after that! Just feel afraid when I get in the saddle!
I just want to be able to canter again🤠🏇
Thank you so much for being here in our workshop! You can rebuild your confidence, and I believe that the process is one of finding the right challenge, as I discussed here, improving your skills, and also learning mental strategies for finding calm. I would love to support you with this in the Balanced Riding Course – enrollment will be opening with all the details Tuesday!
Dear Callie, I am bit late with my comment, anyway, my challenge is to become the person my horse can rely on! I would like to take his fears away, to reassure him and let him know he doesnt´need to be scared from life, since I am here and I will always watch on him.
If I feel sure, if I know what I am doing, I will be so confident and be a trustful human!
thank you for guiding me!
Not late at all Daniela, no problem! Happy to have you here!
My challenges/goals at this moment;
I have 2 at the moment.
1 is to build a better relationship with my horse, she is very spooky and I would love for us to really trust each other to overcome her spookyness. In the groundwork we made already a lot of progress, but it is still fragile and she seems to forget it all when we go riding.
2 Find my own seat and mobility again, last year I fell of her and broke my hip, now I'm finally riding her again and even without fear (with thanks to the other free mini course🤗), but I'm still struggling with some issues from the injury. Especially in the trot and in the transition from trot to canter.
Thank you for your comment! These are wonderful goals! I am confident I can help you with these through my course, keep an eye out for the details coming tomorrow!
as I have lost my boy I rode, my daughter has given up riding so my goal is to ride Bella who's 8 and very nervous,so I'm scared but determine to ride her, my husband has her on a lead rope while I walk a few steps, then I get off, next time I will sit longer on her till I feel confident enough to ride her. I do have a good bond with her, as Ive done a lot of ground work so thats my goal.
Good for you going slow and building your confidence! Keep listening to you instinct for what is safe and appropriate for both of you!
Thank you Callie for creating this excellent video series! I've been riding for many years but want a fresh start. I love to trail ride with my horse, Dak, but would like to start riding more in my arena. The problem is I need to make it more interesting for both of us. I would love some ideas on how to set up my arena for multiple exercises that focus on a particular topic. Thanks!
Hi Jane, thank you for your comment! Last year I created a resource that I believe would be perfect for you – my book Stay in the Saddle. It is a collection of exercises that combine together to create themed training series. I will put a link down below, but if you wait until tomorrow, when we open enrollment for the Balanced Riding Course, the book is also discounted when combined with the course 🙂
Thank you Callie for this excellent riding course, I feel I would like to be a little more confident riding my horse Rosie! So I am taking it slow and building from there!
Absolutely Joyce! Thank you for being here and building confidence comes most often step by step!
I would love to be able to ride my horse out on the trail without the nerves!
Great goal, Brenda! Trail riding is what I enjoy most too. Do you feel comfortable trail riding other horses? Is it just with your horse that you feel nervous or trail riding in general?
I had a bad experience trying to canter too soon in my beginner riding lessons, before I had developed my seat and balance. I think I'm ready to try again, but it's a source of anxiety for me. I'll be doing lots of breathing and listening to my body and feel I have better tools in my toolbox thanks to HorseClass. Just an excellent resource!
Thank you for being here Rose! You are on the right track and I am so happy to be part of your riding journey 🙂
To make myself and my horse slowly but surely being more comfortable on the trail. By slowly exposing him to more and more little by little.
To get him from being used to an arena and paddock hack to being exposed to the elements.
Going step by step is so important for building confidence! Good work!
To go out on a trail ride on my own and not feel fear of the what if?
To ride out and try new things on my own without the fear of falling off.
Confidence is such a big part of the joy of riding, this is a great goal! I would love to have you check out the Balanced Riding Course so I can support you in this!
Even though I love it, I am not a talented rider. I've always dreaded falling off. Recent lessons on a young horse that did not tolerate my struggles, enhanced that fear as she threw me off when she had enough. Not many trainers in my region that speak English so I haven't been able to start lessons elsewhere. So I'm not sure how my next ride will be but this is definitely my worst fear coming true.
Hi Caroline, I am so sorry to hear of the struggles you have had in your riding. Keep looking for that right fit for a local trainer/ horse to ride. Perhaps there are horses somewhere you could work with on the ground to at least be around horses again?
I'm a big fan of your riding teaching!
Very much respectfull with horse and rider, built on best solid basis, makes it not only easy but motivational!
Congratulations and thank you very much!
Sorry, I've never introduced myself! I'm brazilian and also work with horses. You can see what we do at harasdas8virtudes.com.br (we haven't got an english version yet … sorry!)
Hi Ricardo, thank you so much! Your comment means a lot and your site looks very interesting. What is your focus in your work with horses? Do you also have a riding school in Brazil?
As a life-long rider, and now an older, stiffer rider, these snippets have been really encouraging. I used to not give a second thought to any part of being with my horses, including riding, although I find the relationship building more enjoyable and always have. For some reason I'm now much more aware of what can go wrong (doesn't help that I have a horse that has been pretty challenging) and I've become hesitant. Not afraid by any means, just overly cautious. The comfort zone I'm in is not very comfortable.
Hi Karen, what you are experiencing is not at all uncommon – it is normal to begin experiencing more of the what ifs as other life and physical body changes progress with age.
I would encourage you to look at the areas of your riding where you feel uncomfortable with curiosity, to inquire where you want to push your skills and your comfort level and also which other areas of being with horses you could find joy and fulfillment in.
I'd like to be able to trot. Since my knees kill me, I figure I need to do a sitting trot. I'm recovering from my pelvis being out of place for a number of years and one leg doing almost all the work when walking, climbing stairs etc. This also makes riding balanced quite a challenge. I'd love to get more balanced so my horse doesn't have to work as hard to compensate for my weaknesses.
Hi Ruth, you are in a wonderful place that you are now aware of this imbalance you had been carrying in your body and can focus on improving it.
There are a lot of exercises that can be very helpful for you, and really pay attention to the amount of tension you carry in your body when you ride – this could have a big impact on your knees – working hard does not always mean better 🙂 Ease is better for you and your horse!
To become more and more Balanced and secure in the saddle , so that when I ride out Ill be as safe as possible . I’m 53 and have been riding for 1 year . I rode for 2 years in my early 20’s. I m absolutely loving riding again , though had to start from scratch after so many years . Finding it a beautiful active relaxation and hobby. Love finding out more about horsemanship and riding .
Great to have you here in the workshop Kirsten! I would love to have you join us in the Balanced Riding Course (more on that coming soon!)
Hello, first I want to thank you so much for providing these videos to be able to watch and learn from.
I am a newer rider, and started later. I have been taking lessons almost 2 years now, and turning 49 on Sunday. I am loving every minute of it. My daughter has been riding for almost 5 years.
I want to be able to move with my horse more,(natural movement) and have my leg follow. I struggle with being stiff and tense in my legs which I know stops the movement of my horse while riding. These videos are a great visual for my seat. I loved the last video with the exercises to do. I can't wait to try them.
You are so welcome, great to have you in the workshop! Let me know how it goes when you try these exercises!
I enjoyed this so very much. I lost my nerve years ago having fallen off when my horse shot off without me. You inspire me so very much, you will never no. My Springtime challenge is getting back on!
Hi Maureen, thank you! Your comment really means a lot!
I love this Springtime challenge for you and would love to support you through the Balanced Riding Course (more on that coming soon)!
I’m excited to register for your Balanced Riding Course, when will enrollment begin?
Hi Stacey, We are going to officially open Tuesday, April 12, but if you can make it to the live clinic April 11, 6pm ET, there will be a special early opportunity there as well!
I would love to have you in the course!
To be better at anticipating without fear & being proactive.
I had a bad accident a few years back and I still have nervousness when riding at times. I would love to be able to ride without the fear of falling in the back of my mind. I want to have the relationship with my horse where we both have a trust with each other and be each others best friend.
Hi Charlotte, After a fall, this lingering fear is not uncommon but it is absolutely possible to move past it.
I would love to support you with this, if you send an email to [email protected] and tell me a bit more about your riding level and goals I can let you know which resources may be best for you!
The big missing part is the joy but we've been working on the relationship. I really enjoyed this video instruction and can't wait to give it a try. Thank you.
Hi Janice, your comment really touched me because I know this feeling when the joy is just not there and it truly is the most important part of being with horses. I would love to support you in this and have you as a part of our Balanced Riding Course (more on that coming soon)
I'm really struggling with my gaited pacey horse. I've been working with head down and leg yields to stop the pacing that's not healthy for him because he hollows his back. I'm desperately trying to figure out how to get his legs to move diagonally instead of laterally I would rather him be Trotty than pacey. he is my first sound horse and I really want to keep him that way I'm so worried about him having back, hock, and stifle problem if he continues step pacing.
It may be helpful to go back to basic work to help him relax and use his topline correctly – the tension you are describing is often what causes the pacing, especially tension in the neck.
If you want to send an email to [email protected] I can let you know about another resource we have that could be very helpful for this.
I ride and do groundwork with horses at a rescue ranch that has 70-120 horses. I'm good with groundwork and an intermediate rider. My goal is to be able to connect with and ride a lot of different horses for exercise or to advance their skills. I think being able to quickly develop a relationship and also to ride with extremely clear queues will be the key to achieving that.
So much of riding is a mental exercise – it is the physical challenge, the communication challenge with the horse, and working with the risks that inevitably come with riding as well.
This is wonderful that you have so many different horses to work with and learn from!
Letting my boy trot and then go faster. Afraid of falling off. My own issues NOT b/c of my horse.
So glad I came across you. Love your instructions. I have had lessons from people that have put me wrong . Thank you
Hi Christine, I am so glad you are here!
Another EXCELLENT presentation. Thank you Callie. I very much appreciate your generosity in offering these free workshops to the benefit of horses and riders everywhere.
Hi Anna, Thank you for being here in the workshop! I am very grateful for each of you who are here and eager to participate and learn!
Hi Callie, I love all your videos and your YouTube channel. I got into horse riding at the age of 40. My horse mad 11 year old and equestrian stepdaughter age 20 had me wishing I had ridden horses whilst supporting them in their horse journey's, until one day I said why not do it myself? I had figured the boat passed me by and it's all about the kids now, but I have always loved horses. Then one day I bought a helmet, back protector, boots, and jodhpurs and signed up for lessons with my daughter. I felt a bit silly being put into lessons with children, but I kept going. I went from feeling silly and scared to cantering in jumps in my last lesson 3 months later. Im having so much fun now! I thought I'd only be a “happy hacker,” but I love cantering and jumping so lets see where it goes! I left a stable/instructor that didn't align with my values, and we are now with a local stable/instructor that suits us better and has given us the confidence we needed. We are in Ireland and ride English saddle. We/I have watched most of your videos and I just love them. I have learned so much, its a different way of connecting with your body and horse than most instructors provide in real life. You should be proud of what you're achieving and the global reach your content has. Well done, and thank you so much! 🙂
Hi Janna! What a great start in riding, congratulations and thank you for your kind words 🙂
I am so happy to have you here in the workshop!
Awesome video… I just want to find that comfortable enjoyment of riding again… I recently lost my second heart horse and am finding riding other horses a challenge (they are my horses too and gentle… but not Monty) Your ideas are wonderful and am trying to implement some already. (I use your ideas for my students and have seen good positive changes ( be it small) already) Thank you😊🐴👍
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your horse. I know how difficult this is.
Great to hear you have already been implementing the ideas from this workshop!
Thank you so much Callie, for the great course. I ride lesson horses, a different horse each time. It takes me the whole lesson to feel like I’m secure in my seat. Then, the next lesson, it’s a different horse. I’m wondering if it would ever be possible to feel entirely confident on a different horse or if I should seek out lessons where I can lease or have the same horse each time. Thank you for your feedback.
This is a great question and there are pros and cons. Yes, you can feel entirely confident on a different horse, but there is still a difference when the connection with the horse is new. However, riding different horses is giving you very valuable experience and will help you determine which kind of horse you enjoy most – personality, body, and movement.
To find and keep the connection with each horse I get on. I start to crumble as the horse goes faster (trot and canter) and I feel like I’m losing control. My posture deteriorates and the connection fades. I want to trot and I want to canter. I want to find the comfort zone in all of that.
Your comment makes such a great point Laura as in learning there is an art to finding the right amount of challenge, where you can be pushing yourself and growing but not so far that the brain becomes too active – causing anxiety, worry, etc. You can absolutely learn to trot and canter confidently. I would love to help you!
I learned to ride at 52 and my training was dangerous at the least. So I went on the trails thinking I could ride and getting hurt. What I have learned through your videos is that until I find my seat I will never feel comfortable in the saddle. Thank you.
A balanced position and knowing how to find and refind that position is so important!
I used to ride dressage, many years ago. I got kicked in the hip (my fault) 10 years ago. 6 months later I had a hip replacement and surgeon butchered me to put hardware that was too big in. No one ever told me what happened. I had problems with my hip from day one. I have 2 horses who are 12 years old, who have been to training every other year, then sit in the pasture. In good times, when I felt well enough to be on my feet, I would work with them on the ground. A neighbor rode one in a clinic that I wanted to in 2018. They have not been ridden since. I know that they need to go to someone before I get on them. I had a hip revision in January 2020 and am just now starting to walk. It's been a long, painful journey. It most likely will be for life, but sitting in the saddle may not be. Just walking, may be difficult. I want to ride again. The horses I have are not dressage horses. They are big bulky quarter horses. One has finer nimble legs and could do western dressage, but for now, just riding to ride would be fine. They are calm quiet horses. I need to get my body built up to ride, I have a friend whose horse I can go and ride that is safe for me. I fear that I am going to hurt more, or that I am going to get hurt but I know that my friend's horse is bomb proof. I want to start doing exercises on my saddles (I have an english and western saddle). I want to build a connection with my two horses from the ground but be ready to climb on when they are ready for me. There is some fear to all of this. Pain is common for me right now. Depending on the amount of walking that I do, depends on my pain level. OK… enough of me. Thank you for the three videos. I thought there was a clinic tonight but it never came on. I will practice finding my seat using my posture and remember to relax, and lengthen. To breathe from my lower belly. I am 61 years old.
Hi Terri, thank you for your comment! Just one step at a time… the smallest progress each day will add up. Even if you just start moving as you can, sitting in the saddle, spending time with your horses in the field. Enjoying what can do and letting the thoughts go of everything you wish to do or think you ought to be doing. Just take one thing and practice that – a little each day!
Thank you for the great information on how the rising trot should happen. I've recently learned to keep my lower body relaxed and let the horses motion move me up and down however 2 things seem to happen and i'm not sure if it is something that improves with time and skill or am i still doing it wrong.
1. my adductors end up really sore. Am i using them too much to post the trot?
2. when i try to give a calf aid to keep my lesson horse moving, my butt tenses and slows the trot instead.
I'm very new to riding (had about 10 lessons), do i just need practice and conditioning?
Yes, it does sound as though you are gripping the saddle in the trot. Here is an exercise I would recommend – put your reins in one hand and the other hand on the back of the saddle. Use that hand to help push your hips forward in the rising phase of the trot so you can feel what the “swing” motion feels like and how to use the motion of the horse's back to rise the trot, instead of using muscle effort. This will help you practice keeping your legs under your body. It is normal in the beginning to struggle with isolating using the leg without other places in the body getting tense. Don't worry – with practice this will get better!
I want the connection to ride bridleless
I would like to be able to ride the canter in my arena , relaxed and with comfort for my horse.
It is a beautiful feeling!
Preparing my 14.3 hand Azteca to ride Intro level (walk/trot) virtual western dressage tests. Your exercises are a huge help for both me and my horse. Dolar has a tendency star gaze and meander a bit and the training exercises in your book are keeping him from getting bored and improving his focus. Thank you!
I have an Azteca horse too Vanessa 🙂
Thank you Callie. Some valuable tips.
I'm calm and confident when working with my horse on my own. But as soon as someone is watching me or I'm in the show ring I fall apart. I hold my breath and tence all over my body.
An idea here Samantha… is there someone who can watch you who is a friend or family, for example. Someone you are comfortable with but that still puts you in the situation of someone watching you to help become more comfortable with that.
Hey there. So glad I found this series! I have just bought a young green horse. He was kept at an isolated farm and didn’t get out much and he’s now at a large riding school until we get our paddocks fenced at home. He’s scared of so much and hasn’t done much flat work at all so I’m just building his confidence and taking it slowly. Seems he also doesn’t go into canter easily. He’s also broken to pull a carriage so he’s good at a fast trot but not cantering. I’m looking at helping him become a confident boy out and about and build his balance. Get better with transitions and turns and the brakes lol
Good to have you here Niki! Congratulations on your new horse!
I love your videos Callie, they have been so helpful to me since I started riding nearly 5 years ago at 68, still going and loving it at nearly 73! Due to financial constraints, I can only have a half hour lesson on school horses once a week, so no chance of practicing in between. I have always had a tendency toward the chair seat, so your videos on position are particularly helpful to me, and I concentrated on this during the rising trot yesterday and the difference was amazing! It felt so much easier. I have cantered on several horses, without feeling nervous, however my latest school horse, who is a lovely boy, has rather a big canter, I feel like I'm on a roller coaster and unbalanced which makes me a bit scared! I even resorted to holding the neck strap yesterday! I want to be able to feel confident cantering on him so will concentrate on my seat and movement with the horse and hopefully soon be able to feel secure and confident cantering on the lovely Billy!
My next goal is to become comfortable transitioning to and riding the canter.
I have been bucked off several times attempting the canter and ended up in the hospital twice. I have changed to a calmer horse and become connected to him better than my mare.
Sorry to hear of your falls Mary! Wise decision to find a calmer horse who can help to build your confidence.
I would like to learn the correct posture to have while your cantering. I always feel my body is turning and one leg goes forward!
Hi Kathleen! This is definitely something that I can help with. There are several exercises in the course to help you learn to distinguish the difference if you (the rider) is crooked, or if the horse is perhaps not straight
Thank you, once again for this free workshop… it is so appreciated as my funds do not allow spending…. I will take all these ideas to my riding, and am so thankful for you and all you do… I have been following your work for a long time and want to thank you sooo much.💕🐴😊 (also, thank you for using an “older” rider in your demonstration…. it really helps😊) Take care, Callie, you are awesome.😊🐴💕
Would like to hear about the spring enrollment. Also, when will the next enrollment be, as my sister is coming to visit May 2nd for two weeks from California.
I would like to become a more balanced rider and breath better through a Trott
I fell off my horse when he spooked really bad and ran away with me. I still am fearful of his spooking again. how can I get over it?
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