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Authentic balance or compensation? How to reveal the difference.
March 13, 2019

Are you riding for authentic balance

...or relying on compensations?

In riding there are so many ways we can influence (or seemingly influence) the horse's balance that it can be hard to know if we're really finding an authentic balance, or if there are insidious crutches in place between us and the horse, holding things together and covering up for basic imbalance.

The fact is that if we want to access the joy of connecting with the horse's power and grace in true balance, then we absolutely must let go of these crutches in order to address the many forms of imbalance in riding at their source, and be liberated from them.

Yielding the contact in a forward trot without any loss of balance

Fortunately there are some very simple ways to test for an authentic balance, and they all involve letting go of holding on with the reins! Because that's the key difference between true balance and 'fake' balance that relies on compensations: true balance (both in our own body and that of the horse) does NOT disappear when we release the horse's front end! It stays in place, because it is supported by the posture.

That doesn't mean the posture will stay the same - on the contrary, it is free to flow, stretch, relax - but the QUALITY of balance in the movement will remain.

I created an eBook to help riders use three simple exercises to test what is really going on with their horse's balance and their own in riding, with easy-to-use checklists, and it also provide lots of pointers to set about improving things if you need to!

You can get it free from the BecomeOne Academy website, the home of my up-coming online course:

The Authentic Balance Acid Test free ebook

A powerful trot on the contact with very good hindleg engagement

A more collected trot - not easy for this eventer, bred for galloping across country and jumping huge obstacles!

And yielding out the contact in both reins - no loss of balance, bend or engagement.

You can watch a video clip demonstrating shoulder-in work without relying on the 'crutch' of the outside rein here:
Authentic Shoulder-In - no cheating!

Find out about The BecomeOne Academy online course for learning the postural riding connection, coming soon!

A Bientôt!

Gabrielle Dareau

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Available from HHT:

The Gymnastic Rider eBook

Available exclusively from HHT, a unique and comprehensive guide to practical rider biomechanics. This professionally produced eBook takes the rider through the process of developing their body in the specific way that brings the horse's movement into harmony and balance, without force and constraint.

The information in this book, including over 55 000 words, represents what we would normally pass on in a minimum of 12 specialist lunge lessons, focusing on each part of the position and its influence on the horse, with a value of at least €450. The Gymnastic Rider is available for only €29.99.

Click here for full details, and to download the 15-page introduction to the book for free.

How to Train a Horse Without Force eBook

The first part in HHT's Training series, this unusually profound and well-written e-book gives a unique holistic understanding of training horses, from the very first contact with a young horse, through to a thoroughly explained method of lunging, that is beneficial for any horse, not just in preparation for first riding, but at any stage of training.

With your purchase you will receive a free bonus supplement on Horse Trauma - cutting edge insights on this subject that up until now have mostly been applied only to human trauma. This supplement shows how to recognise, avoid and deal with horse trauma, which is much more common that we realise.

These two e-books - How to Train a Horse Without Force and Horse Trauma comprise more than 75 thousand words and are richly illustrated. They are available for only 19.99 Euros (around $26). Click here for more details.

Other HHT Products:
The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim eBook

Learn how to perform the ideal barefoot trim with this comprehensive how-to guide.

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