On pattern in the group lesson

One of our group lessons this week featured our interns Jan and Lisa BB (aka BB) and our working student Jessica.

We played with patterns — a figure 8 the size of the entire arena — and ground poles and practiced transitions between the gaits.

SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU’VE NOT WATCHED THE ONE-MINUTE VIDEO AND SPOILERS MATTER TO YOU.

The “flying dismount” at the end is a fun trick and also a great skill to have in case of emergency. The flying dismount is a simple method of getting off of a moving horse in the safest possible way. It’s simple, but not necessarily immediately easy (especially for adults), so we learn it on the barrel first, then on a horse standing still, then at the walk, then the jog….

We practice the flying dismount in our lessons because it’s much easier to use in an emergency if you have first practiced in a confident, non-emergency setting. (Tip: it’s fun to imagine that you’re in Cirque du Soleil or Cavalia when you do it.)

Now, you might notice in the video that our horses are so good, as soon as they feel you start your dismount, they slow down and stop. That’s okay. It’s a great skill for the horses to have. The important thing is that their riders feel confident about initiating the dismount while the horse is in motion.

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