When people think of the term strength, they think of muscle, of power, of force. If a person said that they needed more muscle to ride their horse effectively, you might get the wrong idea and think they needed it to dominate their horse.
Force comes, when riders need to dominate the horse in order to hide their own weaknesses.
For example, if I collapse to the left, the horse will compensate against it, trying desperately to find his own balance, and then I will use stronger aids to block back against the block.
“(…) if I have the strength and thus the stability to balance myself, I can feel the horse’s natural balance, and learn to gently guide him and gymnastically improve his own strength”
On the other hand, if I have the strength and thus the stability to balance myself, I can feel the horse’s natural balance, and learn to gently guide him and gymnastically improve his own strength.
I began working with my body off the horse, because I knew that due to my own weaknesses, and lack of core stability, I was not being fair on my horse.
“A good piece of advice to all who want to ride well, and who wish to acquire a good position, would be to do gymnastic exercises; which give suppleness, ease and sureness in riding.
The nearer the rider approaches an ideal position, the more he will succeed in difficult exercises without apparent movements of gestures, leaving the observer with the impression of total harmony between horse and rider.” (Nuno Oliveira)
Nuno was right, the more stable, and the greater our body awareness, the greater chance we have to make things look effortless.
If you know that you have areas that are weaker than others, or that you are not stable in your position, or that you have areas of tension that you know force you to compensate to relieve pain, why not try to change it?!