Dressage with Off-Breeds: The Failure Trap to Avoid

You know your horse isn’t the “typical” dressage horse. Maybe his breeding is unusual, or just not what we usually see in the ring. Maybe his gaits are not beautiful by nature, or maybe he has less than perfect conformation. Maybe you are proud of this, or maybe you are self-conscious about it. Regardless, he is your chosen dressage partner and together you and he are embarking on a journey. As you go along, you will come across significant challenges, and when you do, there is a danger you need to guard against. Expected Failure We all love the fairy…

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How to Ride Like a Trainer: Taking Responsibility and Finding Empowerment

Every time you interact with your horse, you are training him. For better or worse, whether the interaction you had was good, bad, or maintained the status quo. You did something, your horse responded, and his response got either positive reinforcement or disciplinary action from you. And he just learned something. You just taught him something. Let that sink in a moment. This is an awesome power we all have, but so often goes unnoticed by many riders because the state of awareness and focus it requires is not the same one we are usually in as we run around…

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The Trick to Stretchy Trot and Topline Building

To begin to develop a horse’s musculature, it’s important to start slowly and take the time to create a solid foundation to build on later. This can be a young or green horse that’s never worked, or it can be a horse that’s had some time off or that is changing disciplines or repairing after incorrect riding.  A big part of this means developing the horse’s topline and carrying power, so that he can carry you comfortably, and to make him a lighter, more comfortable horse to ride. When he carries himself correctly, he will move in a way that is easier…

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