Jane Savoie's Blog – January 2009 Archive (5)

How to Help Your Stiff Horse Bend

Hi Guys,

You can help your stiff horse bend better by using benign antagonism. Remember, benign antagonism is just a training philosophy that allows you to custom design your program for each and every horse. It simply means that you kindly and quietly do the opposite of whatever your horse chooses to do on his own. For example, if your horse likes to carry his head too high, then you ride him "deep". If he likes to put his head on the ground, then you ride him "up". If your horse…


Added by Jane Savoie on January 30, 2009 at 10:30am — 2 Comments


Hi Guys,

With a young horse, you do changes of canter lead through the trot. Around Second level, you do simple changes of lead. In a simple change, your horse goes from canter to walk and back to canter without any trot steps.

At Third level and above, you do flying changes. In a flying change, your horse stays in the canter and switches his lead during the moment of suspension, when all four feet are off the ground.

In this article, I'll go over a single…


Added by Jane Savoie on January 23, 2009 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

What is the Best Rhythm for Your Horse?

Hi Guys,

First, let me define rhythm and tempo. I want to do this because lots of dressage riders use those terms interchangeably and they don't mean the same thing.

Rhythm - Regularity of the rhythm refers to the even spacing between each step in a stride of walk, trot or canter. Regular rhythm is a priority for all work--whether or not you're riding a pure dressage horse. Movements and exercises should never be done at the expense of rhythm. Rhythm should always stay…


Added by Jane Savoie on January 16, 2009 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Should You Work Your Horse Deep or Up?

Hi Guys,

You've probably heard lots of discussion about whether or not to work your dressage horse "deep." There are a variety of opinions on the matter. Some riders warm up and cool down their horses "long and low" to stretch and loosen the muscles. Others always school in a balance and frame appropriate to the level at which they are working; they never stretch their horses. Many trainers school in a deep frame only during the movements when the horse habitually comes above the…


Added by Jane Savoie on January 9, 2009 at 9:00am — No Comments

Strengthening Your Horse's Weaker Hind Leg

Hi Guys,

Your horse's weaker hind leg is the leg on his soft side. There's nothing wrong with your horse! Almost every horse has a weaker hind leg because few horses are ambidextrous. The weaker leg is the one on your horse's "soft" or hollow side. The stronger one is on his stiff side.

The weak hind leg doesn't step directly underneath your horse's body. Your horse displaces it slightly to the side to avoid carrying weight with it. On the other hand, the hind leg on…


Added by Jane Savoie on January 2, 2009 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

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