As human beings we are not always authentic or congruent. We are very good about putting up a front, slapping a smile on our face, and saying everything is fine, even though, our body language, the intonation of our voice, and our eyes tell a totally different story. I have been married 28 years now, … Continue reading Authenticity-Congruency
The single-rein stop is one of the most useful rein aids we have. In our English world we also have a pulley rein which differs widely from the single-rein stop. Both rein aids are to control the horse’s forward movement and bring his legs back under control. I am a huge fan of the single-rein … Continue reading Do you use a single-rein stop?
The older I get and the more I teach and coach and spend time with horses, the more I believe that our intention as well as our intuition plays a key role in communicating with our horses and human beings in life for that matter. It doesn’t start with your foot in the stirrup iron, … Continue reading Are You Riding with Intention?
Just like a plumber or carpenter, as riders we need a tool box to help us on the job. Do you have enough tools in your tool box? Do you know exactly what they do and can you find them blind? Any instructor’s job is to teach you the art of the trade, which includes … Continue reading What is in your toolbox?
The counter bend is a great exercise to help the horse become supple and through. Suppleness comes from lateral, throughness from longitudinal. By asking for the counter bend I make my horse more responsive to the inside leg. The biggest mistake made in this exercise is to use too much inside hand and try to … Continue reading Counterbend
Our experienced and green horses learn to move off the leg with energy and impulsion. We need this impulsion to then meet the hand so we can create positive tension between leg and hand to where the horse comes off the leg and arrives in the hand. The degree to which the rider asks the … Continue reading Leg To Hand
Here's a wonderful exercise to help you become more effective in bending the horse from one direction to the other. Remember all your horse has to know is how to turn right, turn left, go forward and come back. Timing of the sequence of changing the aids from one bend to the other is crucial … Continue reading Serpentine
This exercise asks you and your horse to take part of a circle, connect it to a straight line and change direction. This is asked in the show ring, regardless of which discipline, Jumpers, Hunters, Dressage. You can increase the difficulty by adding a cavaletti like we did or even a small oxer or vertical. … Continue reading Videos on the Hourglass Exercise (Figure 8)
This again starts with a basic circle but this time we change direction out of the circle and combine it with the earlier counter bend exercise. For a more advanced horse and rider we added a canter transition at the point where counter bend turns back into the true bend.
Here's a basic example of how to create a proper circle and change direction through the circle without loosing temp, rhythm and balance.