Each year, you eagerly await horse show season so you can ride and compete your dressage horse. But when the time times, the fear gremlins creep in and you end up feeling paralyzed by "stage fright".
In my own personal quest, I've discovered practical techniques that have given me a performance edge at dressage shows. I'll share some of them with you here.
"DRESSING UP" YOUR PRACTICE SESSIONS"
I can't emphasize enough the importance of…
Riders often ask me, "How do I know it's the right time to move my Training Level dressage horse up to First Level?"
In this article, I'll give you a way to come up with a logical plan for introducing new work at Training Level.
First, I just want to make a general comment. All training should be a systematic progression toward a desired end result. So you need to be able to see the big picture.
For example, even at Training Level the quality of your…
If you only use your hands when putting your horse on the bit, you're making one of the biggest mistakes you can make. By focusing on the head and "getting the head down", you'll just be creating an artificial "head-set".
Putting your horse on the bit has nothing to do with "head sets". Physically, it's a round silhouette that occurs when you ride your…
A lot of riders aren't clear on the difference between flexion at the jaw and flexion at the poll, and how to ask for each of these positions.
Keep in mind that a horse can flex three ways–to the left, to the right, and "in".
When a horse flexes to the left or right, he's flexing at the poll. When he does this, you'll just see his inside or outside eye or nostril. I call this position +1 or -1 because you're bringing his head 1 inch to the inside or the outside of…
Can you tell if your position is straight and centered on your dressage horse? Or are you collapsing at your waist and sitting crookedly?
Ask a ground person to stand behind your horse.
1. Is your seat in the center of the dressage saddle so that each seatbone is the same distance from the middle of the saddle?
2. Is the distance between your last rib and your belt equal on both sides?
3. Are your shoulders level (i.e. the same…