What? Why? How?

What? Why? How?

What? How? and Why? are the three big questions that every rider asks herself constantly and thatoften seem to be very difficult to answer. What should I do? How should I do it? And why should I do it? The reason why this information seems so elusive is on the one hand that many good riders make these decisions on a purely intuitive level without being able to render the decision making   process transparent or to explain it. - That was not really part of the traditional teaching paradigm, because it relied very much on the schoolmaster horses. In the old riding schools the trained schoolmaster horses were the true teachers. On the other hand, these decisions are often not that easy to make. Since we usually don’t have well trained Grand Prix horses as lesson horses nowadays, we have to find other solutions.
 

5 Common Rider Errors In Leg Yield

5 Common Rider Errors In Leg Yield

There are 5 mistakes that happen very frequently and that make it almost impossible for the horse to perform the leg yield correctly.  Many riders struggle with the leg yield, especially in the trot. So I decided to discuss the subject in a newsletter article in the hopes that it will be of interest to others as well. You can apply this discussion also to the “real” lateral movements. Most of the points I address are universal and tend to occur in all lateral movements.

Ride Like a Composer: The 4 Things You Need To Do Improve Your Movements

Ride Like a Composer: The 4 Things You Need To Do Improve Your Movements

In lessons I often see that riders start a movement or a transition without any noticeable preparation for the horse (or themselves). As a result, the movement or transition doesn’t turn out as well as it could. Since this seems to be rather widespread, I thought I would turn this subject into a newsletter article. It’s an important topic that doesn’t seem to be addressed in a systematic way very often. There are some simple strategies, however, that will help you to improve your and your horse’s performance quite significantly.

We Don’t Have To Name It Yet: Defining Priorities In Training

We Don’t Have To Name It Yet: Defining Priorities In Training

We all know from experience that we can’t get everything at once, especially when we are teaching the horse a new movement, or when we ourselves are learning a new movement. It’s very difficult to have all ducks in a row. Often we’re lucky if they’re even all on the same lake. This means that we have to make a decision as to what elements of a movement we want to establish first. Which aspects are the most important ones? Which aspects are fundamental? Which ones are peripheral and can be fixed later? In other words, we need to set priorities. We need to start with the most central, most important ingredient, and then work from the center to the periphery.

 

Thoughts On The Function Of Lateral Movements

Thoughts On The Function Of Lateral Movements

Lateral movements are pretty to watch, when they are ridden well. They are fun to ride, and they are contained in certain competition tests. In addition, they are indispensable gymnastic tools in horse training. In this newsletter I want to share a few thoughts and observations concerning the gymnastic function of lateral movements. It is not a comprehensive, ultimate treatise on the subject. That would go beyond the scope of this post.

Due to their sidestepping aspect, lateral movements are very well suited to mobilizing and strengthening the horse’s hind legs and oblique abdominal muscles.

Improving your horse's body awareness

Improving your horse's body awareness

One important aspect of horse training is that in teaching a new movement or a better posture the rider first has to improve the horse’s body awareness, coordination, and balancing ability. This includes teaching the horse to place his feet differently, to distribute his weight differently, and to use different muscle configurations than he has been up to now.


This only works, if the horse knows where his feet are, of course. This means creating neurological connections between the brain and these muscle groups, so that the horse learns how to find them and activate them.

4 Things you can do when the inside hind leg pivots in Turns on the Haunches

4 Things you can do when the inside hind leg pivots in Turns on the Haunches

One problem I see in many riding lessons is that horses pivot with their inside hind leg in a turn on the haunches. In dressage, this is considered a mistake because the footfall sequence of the walk is interrupted, if only three legs are moving and the fourth one is stuck on the ground. It also cause the horse to brace with his belly muscles and the muscles of his inside hind leg.