Learning From Youth

Adventures in Saddle Seat


Saddle seat lesson from Emily Hillhouse, a new instructor at Stepping Stone Farm. Not Sam, but at least Optimus, so I was only minimally stressed about the horse [Theory Vs. Reality].

My first riding lesson from someone YOUNGER than me. Technically, Coach Courtney & Coach Kate are younger, but only by a few years. This is an entire generation younger! It’s worse than a younger doctor! The trauma!

Lesson Notes

Whenever you ask for more, shorten your reins. As I understand it, show horse Saddlebreds work at maximum compression for a brief period. You always want to be asking the horse to gather.

Think about the horse climbing up into the bridle. As someone who spends most of the time asking horses to stretch & relax, I probably don’t ask the ASBs for enough up.

SSF horses activate from the hand as much as from the leg. This is wrong on a cellular level and contrary everything I hold dear. Seriously. Three days prior. I spent an hour working on riding off my leg and using as little rein as possible [Steady On]. OTOH, I can pontificate all the theory I want. I can’t argue with the Saddlebreds themselves.

Me: (leg)
ASB: Uhhh, what?
Me: (hand)
ASB: Oh, okay. I see what you mean.

I asked for a post-lesson review. She told me to get my shoulders back more. Everyone does.

I haven’t worked that hard since boot camp. I think Coach Courtney & I may have been phoning it in a bit recently. She knows my focus is elsewhere. I’m just happy that I can remember how to sit in the saddle.

Could I have been riding hard in order to show off for a new instructor? Moi?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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