Beware of Training Programs Advertising "Collection" Training! Anyone who advocates teaching collection will be apt to turn your horse into a mental and physical trainwreck. Collection is a R E S U L T of all the steps and stages of the Training Scale or Training Pyramid having been mastered (see picture), not something you … Continue reading COLLECTION
A hundred years ago there was no such a thing as dressage or jumping. It simply was called riding or equestrian training. Gymnastic work, jumping, gallops on the race track, and outings on groomed trails and through natural forests and terrains were all equal part of horse and rider training. Indeed there were horses that … Continue reading Dressage for Jumpers?
An Advance Teaser from the Upcoming Book A to Z Rider Hints Correction riding is a highly specialized, often thankless, branch of correct dressage training. It would be wonderful if we wouldn't need it, but sadly, we see more and more need for good correction work. Not every good professional trainer will make a correction … Continue reading Correction Riding
(Not) for Debate - and not just for DQs: "Close your hand!" An edited and updated version of an article initially posted on January 16, 2015 on my Equiopathy Facebook page and prompted by an paper linked to in that original post's comments. Equiopathy questioned: exactly, how?... and why? There is a lot more to … Continue reading On the Position of the Rider Hand
Or Why "We Can't Ride on the Horse's Head" Horses are not built to be steered by their heads but by our seat and legs. A rider attempting to control the horse by its head - i.e. "hold" the horse by the bit, with running reins, or other contraptions - will fail because riding front-to-back … Continue reading Rider Sin #1 – Pulling Back an Elbow
Know Your Trot! A Reminder for Riders, Trainers, and Judges Introduction For any rider and trainer, and in particular for dressage judges, to be able to recognize and understand the various forms of trot asked for in dressage is of penultimate importance. Yet, possibly because a rider's feel rarely coincides with a viewer's picture, confusion … Continue reading The Six Trots that Nobody Rides and the One that Gets Everybody Nowhere
Understandings or Misunderstandings? Emotions are flying high when and where it comes to the competitive aspects of dressage. On one side, there are spectators hungry for circuslike displays of bigger-is-better movement excitement. These include horsy and non-horsy admirers of our field that is (always has been) the culmination of art, not of artisanship. Dressage hence … Continue reading Action Needed – Unfortunate Developments in Dressage
The value of riding transitions from gait to gait or within one gait in the schooling of our horses is unquestioned. Only correctly ridden transitions however fulfill our goal of producing a better balanced, sound and uphill horse.
"Straight" is not "|" Straight, but ")" = "(" Even Bend Ever since Prussian dressage master Gustav Steinbrecht (1808 to 1885) demanded, "reite Dein Pferd vorwaerts und richte es gerade" - usually translated into English way-off-the-mark as, "ride your horse forward and straight" - misunderstandings about the goal and the process to reach it have … Continue reading Equestrian: Straightness – Why You May Have it All Wrong