I would like to talk about my experience as a rider with ProSix. I will say I have taken lessons from a very successful AQHA trainer for over 30 years. A trainer who specializes in creating a team between horse and rider. I have heard all the usual and customary terms over the years and many of them repeated, repeated, repeated. The object to keep your horse upright, not leaning, to keep him moving straight and underneath himself and to keep it all in collection. If any corrections are to be made, it’s to get in softly, timely, and get out. I don’t know about anybody else but I basically can only perform one task at a time and tend to get a little behind on what I should be doing to keep things as they should.
The first time I got on a horse with ProSix (many moons ago), was on a mare that for some reason didn’t want to walk off straight, she would move left or right first. If you prevented that initial step sideways, you met with much resistance. So with ProSix on, I got up there from my block and took a relaxing breath and asked for forward and I immediately got it. Wait, what just happened? There was no resistance from the mare and we were walking forward. The ride seemed so easy, we were not doing anything complicated, just walking and trotting, but there wasn’t the need to “lift a shoulder”, “move a rib”, constantly encourage forward movement with my legs, and it was just an uncomplicated ride. I didn’t have to micromanage that ride. It was relaxing and enjoyable for both of us. I got off thinking this was something to really give thought to and explore.
I have ridden many horses with ProSix since that first time and have had some equally mind blowing experiences but there are some standard observations that can be made from using the ProSix while riding. One of the first observations is relaxation. Most horses seem to become more relaxed from wearing the ProSix and this is understandable because of the swaddling effect or from the deep touch pressure the elastic gently provides. There were a couple times I started out without a ProSix on and after just a couple of minutes decided it was time to go back and put the ProSix on. You can certainly feel when there is a “tenseness” below you and at that time you have to decide what to do about it. Horses do not learn unless they are in a state of relaxation, so why continue unless you can address this.
The second observation is that the ProSix affects posture. It seems as though the horse doesn’t lean into a shoulder or drop a hip, there is much less activity from me in the saddle. I actually think I have become a better rider because I am able to concentrate a little more on myself and a little less on making corrections. I do have to say that when corrections are to be made they seem like they require “less”. I do hope you can understand what I mean by that.
Because of the above, I think the horse can readily move more forward with straightness. When the horse’s body isn’t prone to be leaning to one side or another on front or back, it would logically be easier to move forward. This makes the ride seem loose and relaxed to me. I find that myself and the horse have been much happier, we both are “lighter” in our workouts and we don’t really encounter those moments where one has to keep repeating a cue and create those frustrating episodes that last way too long.
I could go on, but I am just going to say you have to TRY IT for yourself to see how it feels. I am going to say that of course the horse should have worn the ProSix for some time without a rider or equipment before moving on to riding. The horse will definitely benefit from wearing in supervised turnout, wearing while walking or lungeing. This will allow your horse to acclimate to ProSix. To go slowly at first allows the horse to process all the information the ProSix stimulates through the fascia and muscle receptors. This protocol will give your horse the opportunity to garner all the benefits ProSix has to offer.