In November I spent 4 days with horseman Martin Black at a clinic in Woodstock, Il. The biggest message was about getting in time with the horses feet. If the rider does not ride from this platform, the are likely to be less sucessful in their communications with their horse. In this case they will know that something is missing, but may not be able to put their finger on what is missing if they do not understand the concept of timing.
I say this because for years, I think decades, I rode and was not aware of timing . This lead to a lot of frustration for myself and I am sure the horse. Why wasn't I aware of timing? No one ever told me about it. They may have said "up, down, up, down" when I was in the trot, but that is about as advanced as it got.
In Martin's clinic he kept us working on pivoting on individual feet and going either forward or backward on the said foot. This sounds pretty easy, but I will tell you, Cass (my horse) understood it way before I did. To coordinate the feel, and the timing and THE HORSES COOPERATION is challenging. But, like anything that is hard work comes the reward.
This was my second Black clinic and so my second chance to revisit this concept under Martin's teaching. This time the light bulb really came on for me. It is so cool to be on your horse and feel exactly when his feet are preparing to lift, so you can get to counting and then getting to transmitting to those individual feet to say slower, stop or faster go!
The horse just feels like the machine of grace and athleticism he is meant to be, he is unimcumbered he is FREE. And you will "feel" it.