New month, new challenge! Heels Down Magazine first introduced the #HeelsDownChallenge in May to go along with the monthly digital magazine. The challenge consists of a new topic each month that readers can write or make a video about, post on social media with the hashtag “#heelsdownchallenge”, and tag their friends to do the same. If you saw this month’s issue of Heels Down Magazine, then it if pretty easy to figure out the theme for the month of June; “Seven Deadly Sins”!
My biggest equestrian sin is something that began when I got Ax and is completely particular to when I ride him; my inside hand likes to act on its own accord during the canter. It likes to wiggle and pull and yank all while being generally uncontrollable. My horse is truly a saint for putting up with it nagging on his face half the time. The worse thing is that people told me that I am doing this and I used to never believe them.
I first thought it was a balance tool, so I decided to take my reins away and canter. Nope, I was balanced in the saddle and had no trouble sitting the canter. Next I took away just my inside rein and rode with my hand as if I had an invisible rein. Still no problem cantering. I then noticed that it was only consistent with a collected canter with contact, not when we were working long and low or normally. The conclusion? Instead of using a half-halt with leg support to keep Ax’s attention when he gets spacey, I was just playing with my inside rein to keep him focused. *sigh*
I have begun to really focus on improving my pesky inside hand and out canter has been much improved. Accepting our “sins” is the first step to fixing them.
I tag all of my readers to participate in this challenge whether it be a blog post, a comment, or a post on social media. Be sure to check out this month’s Heels Down Magazine!