Stan and Quatro!
At times it can be a challenge to teach people how to focus when riding. I think that there are a lot of things going on in our minds when we get up on a horse. First, we got up on a horse. There is something about sitting up on a large, living, breathing, thinking animal that is a little breath taking, especially if you don't do it everyday. Then there is the horse moving under us that, can at times, if we don't have good balance, cause us some concern. Then when you factor in that it's our job to determine which way the horse goes and when he stops, well it can be a lot for some folks when they are first starting out. I don't care, early on, what a person looks like in the saddle. My real concern is their focus. See if we can learn to focus on where we want to go and what WE want to do, our bodies will be in the right position, without our trying. But if we are focused on what we look like in the saddle, are my legs in the right position, are my feet where they should be, am I sitting up, you get the picture. If we are worried about all that STUFF, our horse will not have a clue what to do, or where to go, cause we don't.
So I have been using a little something I call POINT. If I have a student that is having a little trouble with focus, I will have them point to where they want to go, and keep pointing till their horse is heading that direction. So if they are going to make a turn to a certain place in the arena, I will have them, look, point, focus on where they are going, and when they are heading that direction put their hand down. By pointing it causes out body to turn in the direction we want to go. Then our leg, feet, shoulders, and head, are all turning the direction we want to go. And guess what? Our horse will go that direction. Why? Cause we are focused on where WE want to go. In the picture above you can see Stan using this technique to make his turn around the barrel. Notice that his horse is looking the same place that he is, that's because Stan's body is in the right place to make the turn. You may want to try it if you are having a little trouble with your focus.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.