An interesting analogy came to me whilst walking my dog this evening, inspired by riders in my Skills Development clinic today where we always revise our position & the way we use it.
You know tennis, right? The game? Well, think about the player serving…then think about the player opposite, waiting for the serve. What does this person look like…their stance? I imagine they are waiting with anticipation, balanced yet relaxed, ready to respond in any direction, trying to imagine what will be coming towards them; going through a million scenarios of what they will do if this, that or any kind of serve comes towards them. Ready to move wherever they need to with speed and control.
It occurred to me that this is similar to how we need to ride - balanced yet relaxed, ready to receive information coming to us from the horse underneath us, perhaps knowing from experience many possibilities and yet remaining open and focused to give a measured response quickly & appropriately, so that we can give that response straight back to the horse in a way that makes sense to them. Timing is everything. If we are off-balance in our seat, stiff through our joints, tilting, looking elsewhere, feeling uncertain or are unaware of these issues, we will be unable to respond in time or in the right way. It will be a “miss-hit” and an interruption to the continuous “volley” of communication between ourselves and our horse.
Not a perfect analogy perhaps but thought-provoking all the same, do you think?