Friday, August 22, 2014

Canter. Adding more stretch. Week 5. Back to the basics. Susan and Darrien

"The canter. Who says you can't teach and old dog/horse new tricks? Check out the changes in Darrien, a 17 year old FEI dressage horse"

We are now in week 5 of "Going back to the basics" with Darrien, Susan's new horse. In week 1 we switched him back to a snaffle bit as Susan rode him in a following rein. Since we were not asking him to put his head where it should be, his response was to ride with his nose as high as his poll! We allowed that so he would learn how to relax and give to the bit willingly. To do this, we focused on asking him to stretch his neck into the rein as he got more active with his back feet. Little by little he has gotten more relaxed and as you will see in this video, is now moving different. His nose has come down , his back is coming up, he is engaging more from behind (stepping under with his hind feet) and (gasp!) is stretching into the reins as we ask him to step up into them and connect from behind. Darrien is becoming fun to ride and seems to be enjoying what he is doing much more now.

What have you learned from watching this series? Is it making a difference with what you are doing with your horse?