"If you ride and train for a living, have something else that you do. Don’t make this your whole life. The bad days - and there are always bad days - will eat you up and spit you out. Have something that you do that has nothing to do with horses, to help put yourself back together again." ~ Lauren Sprieser
"You need to produce a walk. So work at the walk as well as the trot and canter. Get a good feeling of the body working in the walk. The walk is a mirror of the training of the horse." ~ Christoph Hess
This canter pole exercise has applications for just about every level of horse and rider - from Training level Dressage right to Grand Prix! It will improve your horse's balance and responsiveness, by increasing hind leg engagement. You can even use it to add more scope to your horse's canter stride! Read on to learn all about it! (Click on Article Title above to read full article)
Horses that have first learned how to carry themselves properly in all 3 gaits while on the lunge line will usually have a much easier time learning how to carry themselves properly with a rider on board.
When schooling a green horse through any complex where the last element is a tricky jump (skinny, angle, corner, etc), it is smart, if possible, to school the last element first. This will set you up for success as you then jump through the whole complex, as your horse will be more likely to put his eye on and correctly read the jump coming out.
Studying riding theory will make you a better rider or trainer in many ways. Trainers need a knowledge base broad enough to enable them to apply the appropriate system for each horse/rider combination in front of them. Riders need to thoroughly understand what they are trying to do and WHY.
It is very hard to get a horse truly fit and strong by training in an arena only. You need to use a variety of different footing and terrain to build a strong athlete that will hold up to the rigors of Eventing.
"With the bend on the circles and in movements like the travers, it is important to use as little inside rein as possible. If you need the inside rein, there is something wrong with the earlier work." ~ Christoph Hess
Think "uphill" in your trot and canter lengthenings. Yes, the horse should be allowed to lengthen its neck slightly into the lengthening. But you still want to feel like you are on a motorboat - nose up, butt down.
If you want to jump well, make sure you can consistently canter over poles on the ground in a smooth, balanced manner. I am always surprised how many riders are attempting to jump courses, yet they cannot nicely canter over a ground pole. It is simply a smart way to practice just about every single skill you need to jump well, while minimizing the stress on your horse's legs.
Here we are doing a dressage test from an event on the weekend. I thought the test went well but the scores were quite disheartening Due to Covid we aren't getting comments on our sheets so have no idea where I'm going wrong. (Bridgit)
(Click on Video title above to read the critique of this video)
"The difference between an incorrectly compressed horse and a collected horse is that the collected horse can put his nose toward the ground (stretch) while staying round." ~ Nuno Oliveira This is SO important!
"I tend not to count in long lines. I like to ride off what I feel the horse needs. She's a small horse so if you are running and jumping too long or too flat, you risk a rail, so I think it's better to run up to the jump and get their hocks underneath them." ~ Kent Farrington
If your horse is strung out and on the forehand, they will be more likely to slip, trip, or stumble at any time. Just one of the many reasons you should strive to keep your horse balanced at all times!
This Training level coffin complex may look quite imposing to some! But I absolutely LOVE how it has the potential to truly educate the horses on how to successfully negotiate this type of cross country combination.
Who can guess specifically why I am saying that?? If a horse is well ridden through this complex, what could you see this complex TEACHING the horse?
How would YOU ride it? (Click on Discussion Title above to read or join in on this educational discussion)
From Facebook fan Karen Wolstenholme ~ "A previous employer used to scatter about 20 poles randomly in a 20 by 40 arena when we were backing and working young horses. His reasoning was that they were too busy looking where they put their feet to think about trying to throw us off! Seemed to work too.......they only ever bucked when we rode them outside!"
To get the best results, riders need to ride from their seat and core. Many riders KNOW this, but it just seems to be the last thing they can think about, with all of the other thoughts rolling around in their head at the moment they need it most. Such as when you are preparing for a transition into canter in your Dressage test, or are trying to frantically collect your strong horse right before the coffin complex on cross country. There are between 5 and 10,000 other things that you need to be thinking about at those important moments!
It is smart for riders to regularly take the time (between those important moments) at home to consciously train your body to be more aware of your core and how to use it. The more awareness and attention you give to using your core muscles, the better chance you have of creating a habit of using your core properly throughout your riding. Which can make a HUGE difference in your success as a rider, no matter the discipline! This exercise will specifically help you to locate and be more aware of your abdominal muscles. (Click on Article Title above to read full article)
"When a young horse is only ridden in one way, he does not develop balanced musculature. In this case, too much is demanded of some muscle groups, which damages the still-growing body. With a versatile basic training plan that includes riding out in the open, work with cavalletti and gymnastic jumping, the demand on muscles, tendons, and joints is more evenly distributed." ~ Ingrid Klimke
"I start by stretching the horse and trying to make him relaxed and supple. It’s a bit like gymnastics with a horse, dressage is. You wouldn’t expect a gymnastics person to just go and start their workout; they do a nice stretch in the warm-up first." ~ Charlotte Dujardin