Guest post from VIP Rider Heather Blitz, 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Reserve & Team Gold Medal WEG
Don’t mistake the prompt to relax as a prompt to become limp.
Many riders are told to relax in their lessons, but instead make the mistake of then becoming limp. Unfortunately, limp muscles won’t help when trying to stabilize yourself on a powerfully moving object, a.k.a. your horse. If riders become too limp, they’ll invariably fall behind the motion, not matching the forces of the horse underneath them, therefore causing more of a feeling of desperation and clutching.
As a rider, you should concentrate on a powerful body that can keep up with your horse’s movement in all three dimensions. Riders who do that really well appear to be “relaxed” much like an elegant ballerina performing highly advanced moves.