What are the aids? They are those gestures, words or objects that help us to manage better and control the horse while riding. The natural aids are the actions that we use with our body to keep a good communication between the horse and the rider.
There are several:
– SEAT: it is the main tool to practice this sport, because the correct position of the rider’s hip on the saddle is essential to not to lose the balance on the horse. And also because depending on where the weight is placed, the rider could make the horse stop and lose speed. In polo, the skill and coordination of the rider’s movements is necessary because it is a sport with constant and fast turns and therefore it is required a good seat.
– VOICE: this is an aid that does not work the same with all types of horses and ages. Through the voice a rider can both punish the horse and reward him. In many cases, the voice could be a nice support of its good performance.
– LEGS: along with the seat, it is one of the most important aids. They are mainly used to hold on to the horse, make it go forward, to gain more speed and helps the horse to move to one side or the other (inner leg forward and outer leg slightly back). In polo, this help is relevant as the constant movements of the rider makes the legs support great efforts.
– REINS: is the union of the horse’s mouth with the rider. They help to turn (with the support of the legs), to stop or to accelerate. This tool should be used gently because the wrong use of the reins such as pulling hard could generate anger to the horse and can even hurts.
In polo, the reins are carried with one hand (always the left) because the other one needs to grab the mallet.
When we use these basic aids that we find in the world of riding, it will help us to become better riders and accelerate our learning.
Wrote by Eva Pérez