I did another thing this week. I took Charlie to a jackpot and exhibitioned him. It was his first time to town. I, honestly, did not have any expectations for him.
The only expectation I had was a very low bar of no one dying. So as far as how Charlie would react in the warm up pen, around banners, or anything else I really wasn't sure. One thing that was not optional was that no matter how excited or looky he was being, he had to respond to what was asked.
Charlie had to place his feet where I asked. He had to place his hip where I asked. Those are nonnegotiables.
When he was asked to lope the pattern, I was pleasantly given what I asked for: Hip Control. Charlie was a good boy and did what was asked. I was so pumped!! Hip Hip Hooray!!
One if not the most important thing we need. We need hip control. Our horses' hind ends should be placed where we ask them. As riders we need to be aware of what is going on behind us.
We ourselves need hip control as well. As I state often on the podcast, our foundation happens through our pelvis and hips. When we control our hips well, we are able to use that to communicate to our horses.
Champions are masters of the basics. That gets proven In the arena time and again.
While that jackpot wasn't anything flashy. It was very basic. That first lope through for me was the icing on the week. I've been on cloud 9 since. Why? Because I was finally able to see the solidifying of a foundation that we have been in the dirt trying to lay down.
Farley Schweighart is a Physical Therapist who helps riders and their horses heal from injury, improve performance, and return to winning.