Within the 263 pages of “Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation,” Teall covers an impressive multitude of topics aimed at helping riders increase the effectiveness of their time spent in the saddle.
From setting goals and finding the right trainer to high-level jumper course work, the noted judge, trainer and clinician shares his knowledge on it all, including a “Riding Factors” chapter of the book. Within this chapter, there is no factor that spans as many pages as that of lightness and feel.
Why so much space dedicated to these topics? Good feel is key to much of what you do with your horse. It’s that, often seemingly magical, ability that the best riders possess to really sense what is happening underneath them, and, as Teall shares, “You must immediately start developing an awareness of the concepts, if you ever want to ride effectively, effortlessly and invisibly.
Feel and lightness are closely related to each other. In order to be an effective rider, you need to learn to feel just the right amount of hands, legs, seat and weight. The more you can feel what that right amount is, the more lightness you will have in your riding.”
The ideal combination of lightness and feel is what Teall describes as “the Goldilocks Factor” – it’s neither not enough nor too much, but rather just right.
To help achieve this Goldilocks Factor, here’s a look at two of the exercises that Teall shares within his book.