Riding is a form of communication between a rider and horse. It is really quite simple. The rider gives a signal and the horse learns to interpret that signal to make a response. It is really basic in its purest form. Merrilea’s teaching methods are the same way. She tries to teach the rider to learn what they want and then achieve it with their horse. For both the rider and the horse the form of communication must be simple and clear. Through clarity and simplicity TRUE connection occurs.
Through groundwork Merrilea feels real connection can be found; connection that only groundwork, in hand work and long lining can achieve.
Connection between a horse and rider starts through trust and understanding. The rider must be able to understand the horse, read the horse in any situation and almost predict how the horse will respond. Until the rider and horse have this connection, riding is just a for-thought. When true connection occurs we find the rider is easily accommodated on the horses back and the horse willing to carry the rider.
One thing everyone must remember is Rome was not built in one day, this takes time and many hours spent with the horse and in the saddle. Anyone that sets large goals for themselves and their horse MUST be willing to really put the time in to achieve them. She considers riding and connection with a horse a true commitment.
Nuno Oliveira... "equestrian art is the perfect understanding and Harmony between horse and riders."