dressage riding training

Unlocking Inversion: Release and Round the Hollow-backed Horse

A dropped or hollowed back can be a critical roadblock in advancing the athletic development of the horse. More importantly than the sought-after aesthetics, it is a definitive indicator of weakness through the abdominals, and lack of engagement from the hindquarters. Once ill-fitting tack and pain have been ruled out as potential factors, itโ€™s a …

biomechanics health massage

How Massage Therapy Improves Muscle Function

Roughly 45 percent of a horse’s total body weight is muscle, responsible for powering locomotion and movement while distributing force and absorbing shock. When the weight of a rider, application of tack, and demands of training are factored in, an enormous amount of stress is placed on the biolocomotive systems, compromising the efficacy of muscular …

dressage journal riding training

This April: Get the Most from your Warm-up in Horse Sport

Such a hiatus!! (I know. I’m sorry.) But fantastic news!!! You can find my latest article published in this April’s issue of Horse Sport! In this article, I’ll talk you through some of my favourite warm-up exercises that really inspire each horse I’ve tried these with to gather himself, develop better balance, and engage that …

anatomy biomechanics lameness massage

Reasons and Remedies for the Hollow-Backed Horse

No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get your horse to lift his back or engage his hindquarters. The strides are choppy, maybe even rushed, and he is fighting the bit. Before you criticize him for disobedience or bad behaviour, it’s important to make sure he isn’t suffering from back pain. Here’s …

dressage riding training

Practice only makes perfect if you practice Perfection

Anyone who has ever tried to learn anything – be it music, sports, etc – has heard the old adage: practice makes perfect. With horses, however, especially, as riders we need to realize that practice, in fact, makes habit. This emphasizes the need to do things as properly, deliberately, and concisely as we can. Whether you …

dressage rider technique riding training

Simple Exercises to stop the Bulging Shoulder

When the horse creates habits (or find points on the circle) to throw his shoulder in or out, the underlying issue is usually a simple matter of lacking strength, balance or straightness (or a little of each). Whether it’s a subtle bulging or full-on V-like bend and stumbling sideways, he needs your support and a …

Ride with Your Seat rider technique

Put an End to the Tug-o-War (part 1)

“If your arms are tired, you’re riding wrong.” Saying or hearing that phrase can be how you make enemies at the barn, but there are better ways of controlling speed than by pulling. It may seem like the only solution at the time, but whether your horse is constantly pulling against you to drag his nose in the dirt, or you are pulling on them to slow them down, once you fall into the trap of tugging, it can be a difficult habit to break – for us. For a horse? They tend to