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Good riding comes from mutual respect

Blog post   •   Jul 04, 2019 11:21 UTC

Susanne Törnqvist and Meyja - partners in the art of riding.

Susanne Törnqvist lives in Sweden, on a small farm with her four Icelandic horses, and two horses at livery. Meyja was born at the farm in 2011.

- We've been together all her life. She's a very happy and curious mare who loves to play and learn, and excels in everything she does.

Susanne’s primary goal is to keep her horses always happy. She thinks that they should enjoy their life with her as much as she enjoys her life with them.

Susanne is a fan of positive reinforcement but at the same time she is trying to find a way to improve her riding skills and the physical abilities of her horses.

- It’s not a straight path to go but as long as my horses want to walk it with me, on their own free will, I know I’m on the right way, she says.

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I wish more riders would discover the true joy that lies within allowing your horse to own his body and his movements, says Susanne Törnqvist.

Respect and listen to your horse’s opinions

Susanne appreciates the invisible connection between the horse and the rider. Everything is alright when the horse is happy, relaxed and completely trusts the rider not to him harm in any way.

- It's great to see a rider that allows the horse to have opinions and suggestions. The rider should respect the wishes and thoughts of the horse.

One of Susanne’s role models is her trainer Norah Kohle who “makes riding seem so light”.
– Globally I admire Kathy Sierra and Steinar Sigurbjörnsson, the founders of Intrinzen. I've never met them in person but I'm forever grateful for all the knowledge they share and the path they've helped me find.

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All pictures: Susanne Törnqvist's album.

More confidence while riding bareback

Susanne says that she has more difficulties in controlling her body than Meyja has in controlling hers.

- I would like to be more in control of my muscles, and to be able to do more conscious micro movements. Those are the tiny movements that horses detect so easily even though we make them almost unconsciously. My long-term goal is not to need reins anymore; at the moment they compensate my lack of control of my own body.

Susanne has been testing the new Finnish invention, Salli Riding Pad, at her farm in Sweden.

- I think it’s working just great! I've always had the feeling that Meyja prefers me riding with a saddle. And I can understand her because my balance is not as good as it used to be when I was younger and rode more without a saddle. When I ride bareback it’s much harder for Meyja to interpret my signals, Susanne explains.

- The stability attained from Salli Riding Pad has been a great change. I can now trust my ability to stay on without a saddle, and I can practice my balance and body control without being locked in a saddle. Because of Salli Riding Pad my weight is more evenly distributed and I’m more stable. Also my control of my muscles and the whole body is improving when I’m using Salli Riding Pad.

Susanne thinks that Salli Riding Pad is suitable for everyone who wants to ride bareback but maybe needs a little more support and confidence.
- A big thank you for Salli Riding Pad! It's great! 

Further information: Susanne on Instagram

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