The Power of Proper Riding


There is no such thing as just riding. There is Proper Riding and Improper Riding, and that distinction must always be made, because Proper Riding benefits the horse, and Improper Riding damages the horse. The degree of damage depends on the degree of Improper Riding.

A Proper Rider comes at least close to the following ideal of perfection:

  • Remains Totally Relaxed and perfectly balanced.
  • Is able to be extremely subtle and ultra light with both her seat and rein communication.
  • Has the ability to coordinate seat and hands in perfect synchronicity with each other.
  • Has a high level of body awareness and body control.
  • Feels everything that is going on in his/her own body every instant as well as everything that is going on in the horse’s body every instant and responds with instant split second timing/precision.
  • Never over faces the horse either M/E or physically.
  • Constantly hones problem solving skills.
  • Checks his/her own body first if a problem arises.
  • Matches his/her own size and weight to the horse’s strength, in particular the level of strength in the horse’s back.
  • Does not cause the horse discomfort.
  • Enjoys the time in the saddle.

When a horse is being ridden Properly he/she:

  • Is Totally Relaxed and balanced.
  • Is Properly Skeletally Aligned.
  • Maintains Proper Posturing both laterally and longitudinally.
  • Is strong, flexible and Properly Conditioned.
  • Has been Properly Prepared on the ground before ever being ridden.
  • Is Properly warmed up for each ride both on the ground and after being mounted.
  • Does not suffer discomfort.
  • Enjoys being ridden.

After being Ridden Properly, the horse feels good and relaxed and as if she just had a massage.
After being Ridden Improperly, the horse feels like she NEEDS a good massage.

Last but not least, I would like to address bitted vs. bitless bridles.

Can one ride Properly in a bitted bridle? Absolutely, but few do.
Can one ride Improperly in a bitted bridle? Absolutely, and most do.

Can one ride Properly in a bitless bridle? Absolutely, but few do.
Can one ride Improperly in a bitless bridle? Absolutely, and most do.

It takes much studying, time, dedication and practice to become a Proper Rider, but if you want your horse to be happy and comfortable and even more sound than if she wasn’t ridden at all, then it is worth the investment.

In the photo abve, Sweetie shows the physical benefits of being developed and conditioned with Proper Riding (see my previous article entitled “The Power of Fitness”.)


To find out more about the BETR Journey, go to:

About the author

Sivia Gold

Sivia Gold has spent a long lifetime with horses, riding, training, competing in a variety of sports, and healing. In October of 2010 she discovered and developed an extremely simple and easy, but very powerful technique that assists the horse in releasing both mental/emotional and physical tension and replacing it with relaxation. It soon earned the name The BIG Eraser. At about the same time, she began developing simple techniques for replacing both mental/emotional and physical negative habits and patterns with positive ones. These techniques became known as The Triple R (Release, Reprogram and Redevelop). All of this evolved into The BETR Journey, a complete program of healing and educating horses and their humans . The BETR Journey is a clear and simple step-by-step approach that utilizes The BIG Eraser (BE), The Triple R (TR), and a kind, intelligent approach in order to systematically develop a deep and trusting relationship with the horse and wonderful interactions on the ground and in the saddle. To find out more about the BETR Journey, go to:


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