Regardless of which discipline you ride, it's very important to sit straight and square in the saddle. Can you tell if you're collapsing at your waist and sitting crookedly?
Ask a ground person to stand behind you.
1. Are your shoulders level (i.e. the same height)?
2. Is your seat in the center of the saddle so that each seatbone is the same distance from the middle of the saddle?
If your shoulders aren't level which means that one…
Added by Jane Savoie on December 26, 2008 at 8:30am — No Comments
Do you saw left and right on your dressage horse's mouth or wiggle the bit with both hands to get him "on the bit".
If you "saw" on your dressage horse's mouth by alternating squeezing and releasing with your hands, you're riding your horse from front to back. He might look like he's "on the bit" because his head is down and his nose is on the vertical, but you don't have an honest connection from back to front.
The only part of your horse's…
When you train your horse, you're speaking to him in a foreign language. Think about how it feels to have someone speak to you in a language you don't understand. If you don't know the language, you can't understand them. If they speak slower, you still won't have a clue what they're saying. If they shout at you, you still won't understand.
That's how it is for your horse. When you train, you're developing a non-verbal language with him.…
Your horse should be able to flex laterally at his poll to the left and right. If you're not sure if he's locked at the poll, ask yourself some questions:
Will he easily flex to the left or right with one quick turn of your wrist or does he stiffen against the action of the rein?
Does he tip his head on small circles or lateral work with a bend like shoulder-in?
Are his ears level when you ride either to the left or to the right?
Lots of riders are confused about how to smoothly switch their long dressage whip from one hand to the other. Many of you tell me you feel awkward while doing this, and you're concerned about making your horse uncomfortable and disturbing the contact because you're twisting the bit in your his mouth.
So many riders are confused about how to warm-up their horses so they can have a productive schooling session. So here are 9 tips to help you with your warm-ups.
As a rider and trainer, your goal in the warm-up is to take the restrictions away from your dressage horse's body. So depending on the day, your warm-up could be as short as 10 minutes, or it could end up making up your entire ride.…
Here are some great tips for breaking that cycle of fear...
The simplest, quickest, way to relax is to BREATHE.
Now, I know you're breathing or you wouldn't be reading this! ;-) But are you breathing in a way that promotes relaxation?
1. Let's find out. First, let's dissect what you do when you inhale.
Stand up. Take in a really deep breath. Did your shoulders go up? If they did, you're just breathing in your upper…
I hope you enjoy these 3 Easy Tips to Make Sure Your Horse is Crossing His Legs Enough in Leg Yields
When you do leg yields from the centerline to the long side, it's not always easy to make sure that your horse is crossing his legs enough. That's because as long as you manage to get from Point A to Point B, you can fake yourself out into thinking you're really going sideways. But if your horse isn't crossing his legs enough, you're losing most of the suppling,…
Added by Jane Savoie on November 7, 2008 at 8:30am — No Comments
In order for your lateral work such as shoulder-in, haunches-in, and half passes to be effective as collecting exercises, your horse must BEND.
Think of the following equation. Bend+Sideways=Engagement. (Engagement means the bending of joints. As your horse bends his hind legs, his croup lowers, and his forehand goes up--kinda like a seesaw or an airplane taking off.)…