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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, it’s a …

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 …

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 …

dressage Ride with Your Seat rider technique

Ride with Your Seat: Steering with Your Core

There are few things as entrancing as watching a Grand Prix ride where the horse and rider seem to move as one. Cues are virtually imperceptible, even to a trained eye, and yet the horse’s motions are fluid and deliberate. While the technical skills are a journey in themselves, the foundation for the communication is attainable – and should…

dressage riding training

How to Correct Over-flexion as Evasion from the Bit

First let me clarify that I will be discussing over-flexion and not looking at or critiquing rollkur, the latter being something worthy of a blog post all its own, but I digress. Over-flexion is occasionally a soft-mouthed horse’s method of evading the bit, or a developed habit from a heavy-handed rider. Despite the “aesthetics” of all of those …

dressage Ride with Your Seat rider technique riding

Ride with Your Seat: Master the Basics

No matter your discipline, once you learn the finesse of communicating intent with your seat, weight, and legs, it opens you to a whole new level of riding. In addition to being able to guide your horse with a thought, the awareness you glean from practicing your side of the communication also educates your body into …

dressage riding training

Overcoming Obstinacy: Motivate a Soured Horse

While reasons are varied, rehabilitating the soured horse is as much about rekindling his desire to perform as it is his relationship with his rider. The latter is perhaps even more important as it is through developing a “partnership” that we’re more likely to be the person our horse wants to perform for, but when …

dressage riding training

Turn a Fast Trot into Expressive Collection

Whether you’ve got an off-the-track thoroughbred, that school horse that “isn’t recommended for beginners” or a warmblood who thinks he’s a bulldozer, it can be frustrating, difficult, and sometimes even intimidating to effectively address strong or fast gaits. While the “easy” thing is to lean back, haul on the reins and pray for a give, …