Sunday, June 24, 2018

Randi Thompson. Half halts and the Steps to Connection. Adding the breat...

Have you had to take time off from your riding because of the weather or other reasons? Now you can watch this blast from the past to see what I did to bring both Trudy and Ani back into training by connecting them with the half halts and Steps to Connection at the walk"

We had no idea how Ani would behave. It has been over 6 weeks since their last ride and we were not sure what to expect. We went right to where we had left off and were thrilled with the results! Both Trudy and Ani were able to go pretty much back to where they were with the basics before winter came! We started with the half halts (as taught by Robert Dover with a breath) then continued with the Steps to Connection. This was only the third time that we have asked Ani to stay connected at this level and so we were very excited at how much she had remembered from before. Now you can watch the process we used and try it with your horse.
Even if you have not had to take time off, you will find that by applying these training techniques for your half halts and connecting with your horse will make a difference. Try them this week and let us know how they work for you.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Randi Thompson. Canter. Connecting for the 3rd time! On the bit/on the a...

"What happens when a horse is asked to accept the contact of the rider's reins at the canter?  Now you can watch the progress that happens in this blast from the past as Trudy asks Ani to keep an even feel on both sides of the reins on the aids for the 3rd time at the canter.  This is a challenging time in the training process as the horse begins to allow the rider to balance them between the "rein and leg".

This was an exciting time for Trudy. Ani is now ready to be ridden on contact (on the aids, on the bit) at the canter!  In the past, Trudy has been allowing Ani to canter like a green horse on a loose rein and with her head up. Now, Trudy is thinking about competing in dressage and it is time to go to the next level.  Contact and connection at all the gaits.  This is only the 3rd session that we have done this at the canter and the perfect video for you to watch if you are taking your horse or a student, through this process.

What did you learn about connecting a horse that is new to contact at the canter?  Does it make you feel better about the progress you might be having with your horses to do the same thing?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Randi Thompson. The timing of the rider's aids at the walk. The Steps to...

"The timing of the riders aids at the walk. Is your horse hearing what you want them to do?"

In this blast from the past, I asked Trudy to become aware of when Melody was listening to her aids. These are the steps that she is using. 1) First Trudy needs to be aware of when Melody's hind foot is off the ground. 2) Melody needs to soften her jaw. 3) Melody will flex her neck (so the muscle falls to the outside) 4) Trudy aids her inside calf muscle to see if Melody is responding to her leg by shifting her weight to the outside. 5) Next, we add the outside rein and leg to soften Melody's poll. Sounds easy right? Watch to see how what we are doing makes a difference in how Melody is responding to Trudy's aids. What I found interesting is that by asking Trudy to say words as she is riding that it is easier for her to time when she is using her aids.

Can you see how the timing of the aids depends on where the horse's hind foot is? (on the side you are using the aids on...) Try this on your horse (or student) and let us know how timing your aids makes a difference for what you are doing with your horse at the walk.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Randi Thompson.Is your horses back up in the half halts? The Steps to Co...

Is your horse lifting it's back while you are asking it to half halt (rebalance mentally and physically)?

In this session I cover the steps to the half halt as she focuses on keeping the horses back up. We are using the Steps to Connection to see if Melody is listening to Trudy's aids by softening to her jaw, poll, releasing her neck and lifting her back. How cool is this?

Now that you can see the steps broken down even more... are you ready to try this with your horse or riders?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Randi Thompson. Riders Test. Is your horse listening to you? Walk/trot. ...

Randi Thompson. Half Halts at the trot. Is your horse listening to you? ...

"Can Your Horse Feel Your Half Halts at the Trot? What can you do to improve your half halt and become more aware of when your horse is responding?"
In this blast from the past, Susan practiced the half halt as taught by Robert Dover. To do this, she breathed in deeply.. bringing that breath up her chest and back into her shoulder blades. She finishes by bringing her seat forward, hugging her legs and closing her fingers on the reins. This entire process takes only 3 seconds. Beau had been doing half halts but has never really been thrilled with them. (for whatever issues he might be having that day) Since he was now competing in the 2nd level we needed to be able to balance him more than ever so that he starts to "engage" his back end and shorten his body from the back to the front. Lucky you as you get to watch him go through the process. This is their warm-up trot and Susan is already asking Beau to listen to her half halts. By the end of this session, you will see that Beau is starting to get it.

What have you been doing for your halt halts? Is your horse really responding to them or are you hoping that it is?

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Randi Thompson. Is your horse in front of the aids? Walk/trot. The begin...

"Did you know... that when a horse is in "front of the riders aids (connected from the back to the front) that the base of the horse's neck gets thick?" Now you can watch this blast from the past to see how this concept brought Trudy and Ani to a new level of connection"

In this session, we continue with Trudy teaching Ani how to keep an even feel on both sides of the bit, the beginnings of "contact". Before this session, Ani was ridden like a green horse and on a loose rein. Contact is new to her and so is stepping up for Trudy's leg into the connection of the reins. In this session, you will see how Trudy and Ani connect better when Ani is “thick in the base of her neck. (I was thrilled to be able to film this part of the training process as many riders have never seen what happens with a horse and rider going to the next level)

The next time you ride try this on your horse. Can you feel the difference in the connection when they are thick in the base of their necks?