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ex-racehorse walking in the menage at Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington Somerset near Devon

I’ve said in the past that it isn’t just what we do, it is how we are doing it, that is important. Today I learned that another vitally important element is our timing!

I was riding Bronson around the ménage at a walking pace and Pip said he was dragging his heels and we needed more energy. Pace has been one of the things I have been struggling with. Getting Bronson to work in the gait that I want, at the pace I want and then maintaining that pace has all been a challenge. So today Pip taught me how to get Bronson walking forwards energetically without going into trot and it all came down to timing. Having my energy at the right level, allowing my pelvis to move with his back, so he was able to move freely underneath me, and feeling the instant he was slowing down or speeding up and responding in the right moment made all the difference.

Pip explained that it wasn’t about preempting what he was about to do, it was about feeling what he was doing and responding accordingly. The timing needed to be so precise that it took Pip walking alongside us and coaching me before we finally reached a point where Bronson was walking forward energetically at the same pace around the ménage without going into trot or slowing his walk. It wasn’t the strength of my aid that dictated success but the timing of it. This may sound obvious, so much of horsemanship is once it has been brought to your attention, but just because the answer is obvious and simple doesn’t mean it is easy!

I feel so lucky to be learning to ride properly!

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