“I think one of the chief skills of riding cross country is to have a sensitive enough set of fingers that you can allow a horse to put his head and neck wherever he needs to put it in order to see, or as he lands, to recover from a stumble.” This is just one of the basic principles that British eventing legend Lucinda Green drives home in her clinics.
I recently stumbled upon this video from last year that peeks in on a cross country clinic with Lucinda and her student for the day, Jack Stancombe. The foundational concepts Lucinda mentions in this clinic are great reminders for all of us:
- A horse must be given enough time to see and understand a question
- Allowing the horse to use his body requires a “patchwork of contact” to achieve a good balance
- The lower leg is the rider’s security both on takeoff and landing
- A horse does not always have to take off from a perfect distance – it’s our job as the rider to allow his front end to manage in front of the jump, as you would sit on the back of a see-saw