Groundwork, when referring to horses, simply means working with your horse from the ground in order to train and increase communication skills. In this blog post we are going to focus on 'Pressure and Release' and how you can begin to correctly and fully understand the concept in order to further your horse's training from the ground.
This is part 2 of a full series dedicated to Groundwork from Strides for Success. Part 1 which explains the basics and then moves into… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 20, 2016 at 9:00pm —
Have you ever experienced popping over a jump with your horse, when he suddenly realises he needs a little 'more' if he is going to clear the jump? He stretches, or pushes, a little farther than you expected and suddenly you find yourself very much behind the movement and bracing for the inevitable 'thud' that your backside connecting with the saddle will create on landing!
Or perhaps your horse has a frustrating habit of hanging a hoof here and there over fences, which leads… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 19, 2016 at 5:00pm —
Dressage isn't perfect, but what part is baby and what part is bath water?
Watching the Dressage competition at the Olympics was inspirational. And horrific. There were impeccable riders with fluid bodies and invisible cues. And riders who were brutal, with hard hands and cruel methods. There were… Continue
Added by Anna Blake on August 19, 2016 at 9:00am —
Have you ever found yourself out on the trail, or even in the arena and, for any number of reasons, your horse reversing in a calm, quiet fashion would be a really useful achievement in that particular moment. You ask him to go back, but rather than the smooth, no fuss reverse you were imagining, it rather feels like you left the handbrake on and he begrudgingly edges 'back', head raised in protest, hooves seemingly glued to the ground beneath them. By the end of the exercise, your… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 16, 2016 at 4:30pm —
Have you ever looked at photos or videos of your horse and it looks like his hind quarters are, literally, being left behind? They are dragging out behind him, rather than working underneath him. Or perhaps you have gotten the feeling that when you ask for 'more' when in the saddle, there is just no way he can provide 'more' without speeding up and becoming long...
Knowing how to activate and then engaging your horse's hind quarters is vital to his long-term training and… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 14, 2016 at 2:30pm —
You are cantering towards the jump... 3... 2... 1... But instead of the 'Jump' that should have followed the 1; it seems like your usually trusty horse decided to test both of you by inserting a little 'half stride' in there before take off! The result is you doing a great Thelwell impression and your horse doing his best helicopter move, straight up and straight down... Not a good feeling for either of you.
Riding a horse that chips in or adds an extra half stride in… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 13, 2016 at 4:30pm —
How much time do you spend strengthening your relationship with your horse while on the ground? Many riders only think 'riding' when they think of communicating with their horse, however there are many other ways you can begin to not only create a stronger sense of trust but also to improve your horse's training.
You can listen to this episode of the Daily Strides Podcast … Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 12, 2016 at 4:00pm —
Have you ever experienced moments when 'lack of coordination' seems to be the best description for you while in riding your horse? It often leads to feelings of clumsiness and a general lack of confidence in your abilities, right? Well, imagine how it feels when your horse suffers a similar lack of coordination; lack of balance leading to an uncomfortable ride for both of you.
This lack of coordination in horses is often associated with fitness and general conditioning, and… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 11, 2016 at 3:00pm —
You canter along, the jump firmly in your sights, getting ready for your horse to take off... When all of a sudden he begins to 'veer' a little off course and before you know it, the jump flies past you, to one side, as your horse once again proves he is the master of running out at a fence!
Frustrating, right? Particularly when it seems to happen regardless of what you do and how you do it. In fact for many riders, it feels like they spend more time running out at fences… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 10, 2016 at 10:00am —
Coordination; It's always a wonderful feeling when you can do something effectively without having to put too much thought or effort into it. Being able to cultivate this skill, regardless of what is being done, takes a large number of hours invested in practice. However in order for that practice to be beneficial, it must be correct or perfect practice.
This is the one element that trips many riders up when it comes to having more coordination in the saddle. Hours are spent… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 9, 2016 at 4:00pm —
Have you noticed how, very often, there are only two 'gears' when trotting; a good, forward trot or a bland, shuffle trot? However changing from the latter to the former can often be one of the more difficult aspects of trotting. If so, have you ever considered using the canter to improve the trot?
Sounds too good to be true, but very often a good, forward canter can be the simple catalyst from that mediocre flat shuffle, to that wonderful springy and engaged trot.… Continue
Added by Lorna Leeson on August 8, 2016 at 4:00pm —
Riding a horse is the simplest thing in the world. Just point ’em and kick. What’s so hard about that? And as long as you don’t care where you go or how you get there, no worries.
But we’re humans prone to having expectations and goals. And horses are sentient with thoughts and emotions of their own. Perhaps the first thing that horses and humans…
Added by Anna Blake on August 5, 2016 at 9:30am —
Traditions run deep in the horse world. From tack to training, to the terms we use ...WHY? - I figure it doesn't hurt to ask! Hey sometimes I've found there's a good reason - someone way smarter than me "invented the wheel" and doesn't need ME to re-invent it :) So I'll keep asking... Continue
Like the new bride whose husband asks "Why do you cut off the ends of the…
Added by Lindsay Grice on July 22, 2016 at 10:00am —
Traditions persist in the horse world. Does anyone know why flat classes traditionally start on the left rein? I caused a little stir recently, at an open hunter show by starting on the right rein in an equitation class. Can you think of other enduring (though puzzling) equine traditions?
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, until evidence leads us to look outside. I do like how AQHA is encouraging judges to mix up the gait calls and direction of flat classes. I do this… Continue
Added by Lindsay Grice on July 18, 2016 at 9:30am —
Fair warning: I'm going to ask you to do a favor for horses. It will involve some of your time and the money that you spend anyway.
I try to avoid any photos of abuse. I don’t share them because they titillate perpetrators. Besides, I’ve seen enough cruelty for a thousand lifetimes.
One got by me this week on Facebook; it was a photo of a dog… Continue
Added by Anna Blake on July 16, 2016 at 10:30pm —
The owner said his horse had trailer issues. He’d watched a video and used a whip and rope, with bad results. Then he hired a local trainer but after two hours of fighting with his hysterical horse, she gave up and left. Now the horse was even worse, the owner said, and… Continue
Added by Anna Blake on July 8, 2016 at 1:00pm —
Do you remember the first time you wanted to be right? It might predate memory or even language. Being good is immediately quantified after birth; we’re tested before we even leave the hospital. It’s our first “percentile.”…
Added by Anna Blake on June 24, 2016 at 9:30am —
Thirty-five years ago, I stood with a group of women protesting a murder sentence given by a judge in Denver. The defendant had shot his estranged wife in the face, point-blank. The judge gave a ridiculously light…
Added by Anna Blake on June 10, 2016 at 10:30am —
Do you identify as a predator?
I was at a horse show a few years back, helping a client. It was a warm day at an outdoor venue. Participants were all…
Added by Anna Blake on June 3, 2016 at 9:30am —
Maybe you’re mentally arranging your to-do list, or rehashing an imaginary rant about something that happened at work, or just daydreaming…
Added by Anna Blake on May 27, 2016 at 9:00am —