Monday, January 17, 2011

Stabilizing the Tent

Richard Shrake’s Resistance Free Teaching Picture
Stabilizing the Tent

One of the ways we help our students at the intermediate and advanced level of riding is to help them organize and stabilize their upper body. Until this happens, the rider is either ahead or behind their horse’s movement causing confusion and frustration to their horse.

The best way I have found to help the student is to put a little weight into their legs and stirrups. The Resistance Free teaching picture I use to help them understand why putting weight into their stirrups works to stead their upper body is to imagine their legs and stirrup are like a rope attached to the eyelet of a tent and then connected to the ground with a tent stake. With the stake securely in the ground and then a little pressure on the rope, the tent will stay stable even through some strong winds and storms. And when the stake and the rope are loosened the tent will flop and sometimes fall over, like a beginning rider falling forward in a fetal position.

Stabilize your upper body like a tent for whatever lies ahead.

This is an illustration for Richard Shrake. In this image we visualize putting weight into the stirup as if anchoring a tent with a stake. This will keep us stable even in a bad storm.

Concept by Richard Shrake is an internationally known horseman from Sun River, Oregon. He holds Resistance Free riding seminars on an international level. For a schedule of seminars go to:

Illustrations by Suzanne Gysin, a Swiss born illustrator with a strong background in eventing and dressage. You contact her at: