Feel your way to better communication with your horse. Learn how to prepare your body and mind to optimize your communication with your horse. Discover what it is like to have a feel for what is happening beneath you. Explore opportunities provided by your horse to learn an easier way forward.

The Short Course – Starting to Learn Exteroception

In this course we are going to focus on my LEARNING PRINCIPLES; relaxation, focus, diligence. I want you to learn the importance of exteroception, learn the advantages of being a relaxed, feeling rider, and be able to use your focus for optimal communication with the horse. Then, get into a habit of THINKING about the

feeling. Use markers in your arena and be consistent. The more time you devote to training your brain from the beginning, the quicker you will learn.

Awareness is at least half the battle. Throughout any learning process, be aware of the phases of learning, as shown by Gordon Training International. Don’t judge yourself for where you are, just be aware.

  1. Unconscious Incompetence – I describe this as you don’t know, what you don’t know. Maybe you haven’t realized that you’ve been lacking exteroception in your riding, but you’ve been riding and doing pretty well. You just want to DO better or more.

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2.   Conscious Incompetence – Now you know that you could use your exteroceptors to help improve your       riding, but you don’t know how. This is the HARDEST part! This is where we start judging ourselves and       compare ourselves to others. STOP doing that! Be happy that you are aware of the process and that             you are learning, don’t be discouraged. 

3.   Conscious Competence – Now you can use your exteroceptors to help you communicate with your             horse and have a better riding experience, but you still have to THINK about it. That’s ok! You are well         on your way to making exteroception just part of your intuition. Hang in there!

4.   Unconscious Competence or Intuitive Exteroception- Yay! You’ve made it. Now you can enjoy enhanced       communication with your horse and not have to think about it ALL THE TIME! 

We will also review rider biomechanics and relaxation. Biomechanics is a popular buzz word these days. It simply means the study of how mechanical laws relate to the movement or structure of a living organism or how you can most easily use your movement to work with your horse’s movement. What is unique about riding from other sports is that you need to know your own proper biomechanics and those of your horse since you are both dynamic, independently thinking beings. We all have different anatomy or body structures, so no two positions will ever be the same. The idea is to create a position that is safe and effective, not just pretty.

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The object of this course is to keep it simple enough for you to remember and progress at a steady rate, without having to completely change the way you do things with your horse. Think of it as adding a layer of education, not taking anything away.