‘Articles’ Archive

Dressage Horse Training: Leading the Dance

Hello Everyone, What I felt on Ava today what how important it is to set the rhythm, cadence and tempo.  I’ve read and heard and seen when giving lessons how the horse can take over the tempo and destabilize the rider.  I also know that part of the natural progression of riding is first you […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Truth with a Capital “T”

Hello Everyone, As I’m capturing my “aha” moments during my Florida 2015 immersion, I am remembering my Philosophy 101 from my USAFA (college) days.  Aristotle talked about goodness and then there was Good.  Aristotle also discussed the difference in happiness versus Happiness.  What I took away from the lecture is there are actions that are […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Lengthening the Neck works against every Human Athletic Instinct

Hello Everyone, Growing up I ran track and cross country and in college I started lifting weights as well.  I had horses out in my country home in West Virginia and we had two basic gears walk (past the neighbors’ houses so they didn’t call my mom and complain) and gallop everywhere else.  Getting ready […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Creating Step-wise Processes to find your Training Holes

Hello Everyone, As I am here in Venice, Florida at Fox Lea Farm in my first dressage immersion experience I am making writing a core part of the learning experience for myself.  I was planning to get a lot of work done on my upcoming book, “Learning Dressage at the Walk” but have underestimated the […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Leg Yield into Transitions

Hello Everyone, I learned almost 10 years ago in a clinic riding my paint mare, Ally, to try to leg yield into the canter as it will help Ally’s balance.  For Ally, who was very unbalanced and, for me, very new to dressage, all the leg yield did was heighten Ally’s awareness that a request […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Continuing a Thread

Hello Everyone, When I teach my students the order of the aides one exercise is to do a leg yield on the open side of the circle.  To accomplish this exercise the rider must coordinate the inside leg at the girth to move the horse sideways and use their outside aids-hand, knee, leg-to keep the […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Coming back from an Extension without Pulling

Hello Everyone, For many years I’ve wondered how you bring a horse back from a trot extension on the diagonal to the working gait in the corner without pulling back on the reins.  Pulling back on the reins always blocks the shoulders, the horse brings its nose towards their chest and the horse falls on […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Feeling the Shoulder In

Hello Everyone, I know what a shoulder in is but to feel it from the saddle is not something I’m 100% sure I can do yet.  Each day on my Florida 2015 trip I am accessing the top line muscles in Donzer’s body so I am getting more air time, impulsion and ground cover.  Taking […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Brake with Lateral aids instead of Blocking with Reins

Hello Everyone, Lateral flexion, diagonal aides, straightness.  I am having more success than I ever have with developing self-carriage and I’m trying to decide if the instruction is better, if I’m a better rider, if my horses understand the basic aides and are ready or if I’m just mentally ready to process the information.  One […]

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Dressage Horse Training: Giving with the Inside Rein “Doh”

Hello Everyone, Instead of an “aha” moment I had a Homer Simpson “Doh” moment referring to The Simpson’s cartoon show.  I had a great teaching moment with Judy Farnsworth regarding the inside rein.  This lesson applies to me as a rider and to remember when I’m giving lessons.  Judy asked me to give forward with […]

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