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barefoot pony treeless saddle natural horsemanship classical horsemanship affinity harmony connection Pippsway Horse Connection Clinic Wellington Somerset near Devon

I don’t recall ever hearing the word 'allow' during a riding lesson, before today that is. Pip was teaching another client and I was lucky enough to get to watch and listen!

Normally I would expect to hear ‘keep your heels down! Shorten your reins! More leg! More leg! Elbows in!’ and so on. These are not the things you hear when Pip is teaching. Today Pip taught a lady how to ride properly. I was very excited to see this as learning to ride properly is my goal and finding someone who could teach me was like searching for the Holy Grail! I had started to wonder if such a person existed!

In the short time that I have been at Pippsway I have learned so much about horses and horsemanship. There’s no question that the more I learn the more I realise I have yet to learn! Even so I am amazed at how differently I now see horses and riders.

I used to love to peruse ‘horse for sale’ ads. Now I can hardly bear to look! Seeing horses that have no muscle, are on the forehand, have been competed at an age when they shouldn’t yet have been backed, never mind anything else, is just no fun. I used to love watching horse clips on YouTube but again, in the short time that I have been at Pippsway, I have started to see things so very differently. People riding who are supposed to be very experienced and yet are completely unbalanced. Who have their reins too short, the horse over bent and on the forehand and so on. Seeing horses who are clearly in pain and are distressed whilst oblivious riders go about ‘riding’ them.

Today I saw something very different. I saw a woman learning to ride properly. At all times the needs of the horse were respected. Far from being told to have her reins shorter she was told not to use them!! She was taught about balance, relaxing and ‘allowing’ her body and the horse’s body to move in the way they need to in order to be in balance with themselves and each other. It was a beautiful thing to watch…

Thank goodness for Pippsway!

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