I learned the fundamentals of equitation to the repetitive tune of Heads up! Heels down! trotting around and around the riding school arena. I acquired the hows of riding in those early years, but my whys were typically answered with tradition – that’s just the way it’s done. Thinking back, if I’d grasped the reasoning behind the technical skills of riding, I’d have been more motivated to persevere in those drills without stirrups!
Beautifully turned out equitation riders head up the placings at the top horse shows. Riding lessons devoted to arena laps without stirrups and in 2-point position pay dividends in the show ring. Head up! Heels down! But have you ever considered the line between equitation poise and pose? Dignity, effectiveness, calm and confidence describe a rider with poise. An air of assurance born from experience.