On The Bit – Rider Biomechanics http://onthebit.org On The Bit explained and demystified through rider biomechanics Sun, 15 Jun 2014 11:08:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.1 Getting your horse on the bit – What everyone should know! http://onthebit.org/getting-horse-on-the-bit/ Sun, 08 Jun 2014 20:06:41 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=247 Getting your horse on the bit – And why talented riders and trainers don’t often break down into enough detail. What everyone ought to know about Getting Your Horse ‘On The Bit’ – a new video which explains how on the bit works, and why talented riders don’t talk about it in enough detail for […]

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Getting your horse on the bit – And why talented riders and trainers don’t often break down into enough detail.

What everyone ought to know about Getting Your Horse ‘On The Bit’ – a new video which explains how on the bit works, and why talented riders don’t talk about it in enough detail for the rest of us!

http://www.onthebit.org/getting-your-horse-on-the-bit.html

Getting your horse on the bit can be the bugga boo of riding, causing stress and unnecessary frustration in both horse and rider. One the rider understands where to focus, and what to focus on, riding becomes a solvable puzzle rather than some mystical feel that only the talented possess.

In good work the horse’s back forms such an effective bridge that it is very comfortable to sit on, and his back end and his front end no longer feel like two separate pieces. Think of him moving in one piece underneath you, so that you feel as if you are being carried along on a conveyor belt.

Getting Your Horse On The Bit

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Saddlery and Rider Biomechanics Webinar http://onthebit.org/saddlery-rider-biomechanics-webinar/ Tue, 03 Jun 2014 16:32:02 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=232 In this webinar recording http://www.jeremyrudgesaddlery.co.uk (Amy Downing) will be with us to talk about making bespoke saddles – starting by choosing the right tree to build it on – that are wonderfully horse and rider friendly. Amy talks about Jeremy’s history in the saddlery industry, some of the pitfalls inherent in saddlery, and the needs […]

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In this webinar recording http://www.jeremyrudgesaddlery.co.uk (Amy Downing) will be with us to talk about making bespoke saddles – starting by choosing the right tree to build it on – that are wonderfully horse and rider friendly. Amy talks about Jeremy’s history in the saddlery industry, some of the pitfalls inherent in saddlery, and the needs of the horse and rider. Few saddles are designed with an understanding of rider biomechanics – how does this need to influence their shape?

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On The Bit Academy http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-academy/ Sun, 01 Jun 2014 19:03:52 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=217 Join us in the On The Bit Academy And learn how to create the seeking reflexes so you can bring your horse on the bit ethically and naturally.    

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Join us in the On The Bit Academy

And learn how to create the seeking reflexes

so you can bring your horse on the bit ethically and naturally.

 

 

button

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Control Of Rising Trot Tempo http://onthebit.org/control-rising-trot-tempo/ Sat, 31 May 2014 18:25:11 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=200 The ability to produce impulsion and direct the horses energy is down to how well you can keep taking the horse and maintain a tempo as you ask for energy. Riding the horse forward without tempo control leads to running, hollowing of the horses back and about zero chance of balance or getting the horse […]

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The ability to produce impulsion and direct the horses energy is down to how well you can keep taking the horse and maintain a tempo as you ask for energy. Riding the horse forward without tempo control leads to running, hollowing of the horses back and about zero chance of balance or getting the horse to work on the bit. This video goes some way to explaining tempo control in rising ( posting ) trot.

Let me know if the video helped you in the comments below the video.

 

 

 

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On The Bit Webinar http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-webinar-snippet/ Sat, 31 May 2014 10:08:59 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=179 On The Bit Webinar with Mary Wanless BHSI A snippet of the webinar hosted by Mary Wanless BHSI about ‘On The Bit – The Seeking Reflexes’ where she talks about the mental and physical solutions for getting your horse on the bit. The full version of this webinar recording comes free of charge when you […]

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On The Bit Webinar with Mary Wanless BHSI

A snippet of the webinar hosted by Mary Wanless BHSI about ‘On The Bit – The Seeking Reflexes’ where she talks about the mental and physical solutions for getting your horse on the bit.

The full version of this webinar recording comes free of charge when you purchase any of the products from http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-products/

 

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‘On the bit’ without ‘Fiddling’ http://onthebit.org/bit-without-fiddling/ http://onthebit.org/bit-without-fiddling/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 13:03:36 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=174 Fiddling, twiddling, squeezing and sponging of the rein is not the solution to ‘on the bit’. For some very few horses it might work temporally  – when the horse’s head goes down his back might actually come up for a while. But generally, horses will resist your attempts to bring the head when the back […]

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Fiddling, twiddling, squeezing and sponging of the rein is not the solution to ‘on the bit’. For some very few horses it might work temporally  – when the horse’s head goes down his back might actually come up for a while. But generally, horses will resist your attempts to bring the head when the back is also down, as this puts them into a contortion. Human spines are the same – when the back is hollow the neck is hollow, and the chin lifts. Conversely as the back fills out, the front of the neck softens and the chin comes down.

So in the contorted version of ‘on the bit’, it looks like the horse has had it head squashed back into its neck, and its neck squashed back into its withers. He might over bend, break at the third vertebra, etc. He shows a cramped version of the beauty and power available when the horse is truly in the seeking reflexes: up through his back and reaching – of his own volition – into the rein.
Influencing the horses back, and working with the seeking reflexes is a very different ethical approach to methods that are based on ‘fiddling’ or pulling the head down. To get more information on ‘The Seeking Reflexes’ you can register to get a free chapter from my book ‘The Natural Rider’

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Saying It Differently http://onthebit.org/saying-differently/ Wed, 21 May 2014 20:18:55 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=132 Saying it differently is a great skill to have in your teaching arsenal. I received a really lovely message a few days ago after a person subscribed to the ‘on the bit’ website. She purchased a 3 pack of PDFs which cover the subject of on the bit. It was a PDF taken from ‘For […]

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Saying it differently is a great skill to have in your teaching arsenal.

I received a really lovely message a few days ago after a person subscribed to the ‘on the bit’ website. She purchased a 3 pack of PDFs which cover the subject of on the bit. It was a PDF taken from ‘For The Good Of The Rider’ which really hit home the idea of supporting your own weight and made a huge change for her in her riding.

http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-free-chapter

I have a rule that says, if I say the same thing to the same person three times and its not working, then I find a different way of saying it, or a different way of inputting that information (visual, auditory, kin-esthetic). Don’t ever be worried in your own lessons of saying “I don’t understand, can you explain”, you will be doing yourself and your teacher a favour! Below is the email I received

A HUGE THANK YOU for the 3 chapters & audio on the “seeking reflexes”….After reading “for the good of the rider”….my body & I seemed to have an epiphany and had 2 amazing rides on my 2 phenomenal warmbloods who are extremely happy that I’m riding & supporting my weight…..I am so very thankful!!!!! I was getting better w/the webinars & naked truth DVD which have been so very instrumental in improving my dressage riding but the “for the good of the rider” seemed to bring everything together!!!!

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About Mary Wanless http://onthebit.org/about-mary-wanless/ Thu, 15 May 2014 21:14:20 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=110 Mary Wanless is an internationally renowned coach, and is the author of the ‘Ride With Your Mind’ books, which have been translated into many languages. She has also authored 8 DVDs. She coaches riders at all levels, from relative novices to two  of the top twelve US dressage riders, and some of the Canadian eventing […]

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Mary Wanless is an internationally renowned coach, and is the author of the ‘Ride With Your Mind’ books, which have been translated into many languages. She has also authored 8 DVDs. She coaches riders at all levels, from relative novices to two  of the top twelve US dressage riders, and some of the Canadian eventing squad. She has B.Sc. degrees in both Physics and Applied Sports Coaching, and holds the BHSI certificate.

30 years ago, when Mary was frustrated with her limited progress as a pupil, she set out to discover how talented riders do what they do. Her guiding question was ‘What is presupposed by a trainer when she makes a specific statement to a pupil?’ So when a rider is told, for instance, to ‘Get the horse on the bit?’ , what is the trainer presupposing? That the rider already has these skills (but somehow forgot, or just didn’t bother to impliment them?!) Or that she ought to be able to do it because it’s easy?

Any co-ordination that is easy (and therefore a ‘bite size chunk’) for the trainer is not necessarily a ‘bite size chunk’ for the pupil. When the trainer says ‘Do X’ she is assuming that the pupil can do ‘A,B,C,D,’ etc. just as she can! But that may not be the case. The reality is that most trainers teach the pupil as if they were teaching themselves. The skill of coaching lies in the coach’s/trainer’s ability to cross that skill-gap, and show the pupil her own personallised next steps, that will move her on from her current starting point.

Mary’s knowledge has evolved from the early years of this project, which were spent ‘unpacking’ the skills that are really needed to ‘get the horse on the bit’. The intervening years have been the most phenomenal learning journey, spent developing her own riding skills, learning from some of the world’s best riders, and honing her coaching skills by learning about learning. She has also invested many hours in writing books, doing lecture-demonstrations, and training other coaches.

Science has now proved what Mary instinctively knew all those years ago – that the world’s best riders may have implicit knowledge or ‘know-how’, but they cannot put this knowledge into words. This is because physical skills and verbal descriptions come from different parts of the brain. The resulting dislocation between expertise and explanation makes it hard for skilled riders to ‘clone’ themselves – indeed, what they do and what they say they do can be poles apart. But Mary has discovered that their skills have an underlying structure, and knowing this explicitly enables her to communicate it to others. She clarifies the ‘how’ of riding, making its biomechanics explicit and learnable whilst avoiding the ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’ that stifle learning.

The result is a phenomenally effective way of helping riders develop both feel and influence. Talent really can be taught!

DID YOU KNOW THAT MARY:

Rode with the late Nuno Oliveira, and over the years she has spent many months training in Portugal.

Mary also rode in Germany with the late Egon Von Neindorff.

She has trained in Germany with Hans Heinrich Meyer-Zu-Strohen.

Her Lusitano gelding ‘Quite’ is pictured on the cover of the ‘Ride With Your MInd Clinic’ book. She has also owned a wonderful thoroughbred (pictured on the cover of the ‘Essentials’ book), a Welsh cob, and has more recently paired herself with a gift-horse, the American Warmblood ‘Merlot’ who is a Trakehner/Holsteiner cross.

In her late twenties, she sold her first horse ‘Cat Weazel’ who went on to become a stalwart of the British Young Riders Dressage Team.

Her coaching career in the USA began in 1991 with an invitation to speak at the California Dressage Society annual meeting. She has also spoken at the US Dressage Federation’s Annual Convention.

She considers that public speaking is her only talent. Whilst she is unusally good at coaching, riding and writing, these are all learnt skills.

She has known Kyra Kyrklund and her husband Richard White for many years, and taught Richard before he left the UK to became Kyra’s partner. Over the years, Richard and Mary have frequently collaborated over the biomechanics of riding. Now, however, Richard teaches Mary! He also coached the riders who were 4th, 5th, 7th and 10th in the Hong Kong Olympics – which just shows what coaching based on rider biomechanics can achieve!

Mary has coached US dressage star Heather Blitz for over 17 years. Mary and Heather now have a recriprocal coaching relationship, and Heather has brought to the RWYM approach her own unique ways of solving training issues by ‘getting through to’ horses of all types and dispositions. She is a genius at it, and Mary considers her our best living example of correct rider biomechanics!

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The Seeking Reflexes http://onthebit.org/the-seeking-reflexes/ Thu, 15 May 2014 20:24:28 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=106 The Seeking Reflexes This except is taken from the chapter ‘On The Bit – The Mental Problem’ which talks about the seeking reflexes and the typical psychological traps which prevent riders from learning this essential skill of rider biomechanics. “To illustrate the difference between cooperating with the horse’s natural responses (the seeking reflexes) and “teaching […]

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The Seeking Reflexes

This except is taken from the chapter ‘On The Bit – The Mental Problem’
which talks about the seeking reflexes and the typical psychological traps which
prevent riders from learning this essential skill of rider biomechanics.

“To illustrate the difference between cooperating with the horse’s
natural responses (the seeking reflexes) and “teaching the horse tricks,” let us consider the
canter aid. We can teach the horse to canter left (or right) when we
touch him with our left leg, our right leg, or both legs. If we were
patient enough, we could probably teach him to canter left when we
pulled his left ear, and to canter right when we pulled his right ear
(although I would not like to vouch for the quality of the transitions!).
The most effective aid puts the rider’s body into the canter movement,
and when she puts herself into canter on top, the horse has no choice
but to put himself into canter underneath her. The result of her “gear
change” is a reflex reaction, not a learned response.
The most efficient, effective aids always have this as a basis, and
although we often hear that a system of aids should be logical, it is
really far more important that they be reflexive. When used well, aids
are communicated to the horse without his even being aware of them—
and he certainly does not decide his response by means of a reasoned,
thought-out process equivalent to “If the rider does this, then I must do
that.” The many riders who think they are appealing to their horse’s
rational mind have enormously high expectations; they are assuming
that the horse has a degree of choice about his movement patterns
which they—despite their superior intelligence—do not have about
their own. But even when the horse can be taught to give the response
to an aid, and he has a conscience, and he does what he knows he
should, he will do it in a carriage which is determined not by how well
he has learned his lessons, but by how much he is protecting himself—
through his own unconscious mechanisms—from the rider’s
indelicacies.”

To get access to the full free chapter go to http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-free-chapter

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‘On the bit’ – Rider Biomechanics http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-rider-biomechanics/ http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-rider-biomechanics/#comments Sat, 03 May 2014 13:10:04 +0000 http://onthebit.org/?p=1 ‘On the bit’ a.k.a ‘The Seeking Reflexes’ Rider Biomechanics can be a key skill set and knowledge base that makes ‘on the bit’ doable and ultimately less stressful. Ideally, the rider would gradually pass from being a kind passenger to being an active, effective rider, able to influence horses, so that they worked ‘on the […]

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‘On the bit’ a.k.a ‘The Seeking Reflexes’

Rider Biomechanics can be a key skill set and knowledge base that makes ‘on the bit’ doable and ultimately less stressful.

Ideally, the rider would gradually pass from being a kind passenger to being an active, effective rider, able to influence horses, so that they worked ‘on the bit’. This would happen as a by-product of her increasing awareness and skill which, over time, transform her body into a far more effective tool for molding the horse into shape. Seemingly of their own will, her horses would happily cooperate, rearranging their carriage and movement to become the beautiful “dressage horses” most riders so envy.

In practice horses don’t make it that easy for their riders. But I have seen many horses begin to offer their learning riders exceptionally good work, without the riders’ having to struggle and fight to achieve it, or having set it up as a glorious—and probably unattainable—goal.

My work on rider biomechanics now includes insights from a number of different coaches. Some are subtle and cutting edge, and can only be taught to advanced riders. Others are simple fixes we all wish we had found years ago, as having those pieces in place makes everything else so much easier! My work has also been enriched by collaborations with Functional Anatomist Tom Myers, and Australian horse trainer Andrew Mclean. Tom’s concept of ‘muscle chains’ has helped to clarify my own inuitions making the rider/horse interaction very understandable. Andrew’s work on ‘Equine Learning Theory’ shows how to get horses understanding go, stop, right, left, and yield – and having those baselines in place (from operant conditioning) makes the rest so much easier.

‘On the bit’ – The Mental Problem

My original book Ride With Your Mind, which is out of print, has a chapter called ‘On the bit – The Mental Problem‘. This clearly discusses the typical issues facing riders learning how to get their horse ‘On the bit’.  Head on over to http://onthebit.org/on-the-bit-free-chapter to get a free copy of the chapter and learn what mental issues could be holding you back.

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