Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Canter trot transitions. Keeping connected in balance at a new level. ...

"What if...all you needed for smoother transitions at the trot and canter on your horse is to have a step by step process to do them?"

Watch what happens as Trudy practices her canter trot transitions on Ani.  In the past we have allowed Ani to canter like a green horse.  She could basically go around the ring at the canter but was not connected or in balance.  Now the time has come to ask Ani for more of a connection (rounding up, balancing, packaging, on the aids...)  in both her canter and the transitions in and out of it.  This is new for both Trudy and Ani and you will be able to see what they are doing to go to that next level in what they are doing.

What did you learn about canter trot transitions after watching this video?   

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Walk. Refining the riders aids for a longer step and more connection. S...

"How do you know if....your horse is really listening to your leg and rein aids at the walk?  Refining your connection"

Did you know the walk is often the most difficult gait for many riders to keep connected? There is something about the walk that makes us relax and not focus on the connection like we do at the trot and canter. That is fine for a rest break or a quiet ride down the trail. However, we also want our horses to stay connected and in balance when we want them to. This takes practice and a little bit of focus. It has been fun to watch the progress of Trudy and Ani these past years (this is Season 3) and now they are at the point in their training where they are refining their connection at new levels. In this session Trudy asked how she could keep Ani connected and taking longer steps. Many horses who are new to connection (rounding up, packaging, on the aids...) tend to step with shorter steps when the rider takes up the reins. Now you can see what I did with Trudy so that she could feel Ani stepping up more from behind and into the rein with longer steps on both straight lines and curves.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Canter/counter canter. Balancing for a new level. Transitions. dressage ...

"Would you like your horses canter to be easier to ride and influence?  Watch what happens as Beau learns how to stay more connected and balanced in canter and canter/trots"

If you are riding dressage, its all about balance and connection as you move up the levels. What most people do not know is that each time their horse goes to a new level, that they change their balance.  The secret is knowing that this will happen and having the tools to go to that next level of balance.  In this session we focus on keeping Beau connected (listening to Susan's aid) and and in balance (not on the forehand) at the canter and canter/trot transitions. To do this Susan focuses on where she feels Beau get tight or starts taking shorter steps.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trot. Steps to Connection. Asking your horse to connect the back end to ...

"Oh what fun it is to see... horses connecting at the trot (on the aids, rounding up, packaging, coming through) at the beginning of that process"

It is week 3 of "Steps to Connection" and the timing of the aids.  In this session you will see what Susan is doing to encourage Beau to keep connected at the trot. The first week Beau was not so sure what was going on as Susan asked him to stay connected and in balance (at a new level) between her leg and rein aids.  Now you can see that Beau is listening more to Susan's aids and is "in front of or on her aids" more often. This was an exciting session as Beau is starting to move differently at the trot.  Can you see how much spring (impulsion) he is now showing while tracking up? (hind feet stepping in front of or into the hoof print of the front foot on the same side)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Balance and connection at the canter for the first time! dressage training

Would you like to see a horse balance between the riders rein and seat aids for the first time at the canter?"

Most riders have never felt, or been able to see what happens to a horse that is learning how to get "on the aids" for the first time.  In this session Trudy asks Melody for a canter "on the aids." To do this, Trudy has focuses on keep Melody soft and balanced between her leg and seat aids from back to front and side to side. The biggest change is that now Trudy is keeping a consistent contact with Melody's rein connection.  This has been new to Melody as we have been riding her in a slack or light rein.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Walk. Trot. The Steps to Connection. dressage, riders aids, riding inst...

"How do you know if your horse is listening to your rein and leg aids at the walk and trot? Are you sure your aids are clear? Watch what happens with Trudy and Melody to see what you might be missing"

How do you know if your horse is listening to you? It's easy. Go back to the basics and make sure they are. In this session we focus on the Steps to Connection that Trudy needs to connect even more with Melody. Now you can watch what I do with Trudy and Melody that brings both of them to a new level in what they are doing. The best news is that Melody is relaxed and seems to be enjoying herself more every session. Stay tuned as I will share what happened in the canter next. For the first time, Melody lets Trudy canter her in balance! 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

How to keep your horse straight by adding your lower legs. Walk. Dressag...

"Are you ready to finally... ask your horse to stay connected from your seat and legs at the walk?  What does that mean?"

There comes a time when a rider and horse are ready to go to a new level of balance and communication. This is Trudy's horse Melody.  Melody had some serious issues in the past. It has taken us several years to bring her  to this point and now it it is time to ask her to connect between Trudy's rein and leg aids. We would like her to "round up, connect, get packaged"  (there are so many words for this). This is still new to Melody and is the perfect opportunity for you to watch what happens when a rider first begins to ask a horse to connect between the reins and the legs of the riders.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Canter. Staying soft and waiting for the first time! Timing of the Rid...

"Balancing your horses canter.  When is it time? Now you can see what happens as Trudy asks Ani to stay connected at the canter for the first time!"

This was an exciting session as Trudy takes Ani to the next level of connection in her canter. In the past we have let Ani canter pretty much like any green horse does. Her nose was out and all we wanted was for her to to stay relaxed, keep cantering, and go in the direction we pointed her at. Now it is time for to take Ani to the next level in her canter. We want her to balance between Trudy's rein and leg aids. Lucky you to be able to watch what happens... I was happy to catch this on video as I know that most riders may never have seen what a horse looks like when it is moving into a new balance and connection.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Steps to connection. Timing of the aids of the rider at the walk. Week...

"Oh, how much fun. Here we are on week 3 of the Steps to Connection and the Timing of the Riders Aids. Check out Trudy and Ani at the walk."

In this session we go back to the basics at the walk.  First, Trudy will check to see if Ani is connecting (responding) to her aids.  Trudy starts with the rein aid and continues through the use of her lower leg.  Once we add Trudy's lower leg  Trudy becomes aware of how crooked Ani has been moving and that now...  she can keep her straighter. This is what all riders go through when they first feel straightness like this and is perfect for everyone to see.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Canter Trot transitions. Timing of the Riders Aids. Week #2 2nd Level...

"Would you like to improve the way your horse changes its gait from a trot to a canter?  Than it's time to think about the timing of your aids. Watch what Susan does with Beau"

In this session Susan is riding the transition from the trot to the canter, and the canter to to the trot.She is focusing on the timing of her rein and leg aids and how Beau is responding to them. Lucky you as you will get to see a horse as it is learning how to re balance at a new level. (Susan and Beau will be competing in 2nd Level dressage this upcoming year and need to have more of an uphill balance)

Can you see the difference in how Beau is moving as he works through these exercises?  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Trot/Canter. Timing of the Rider's lower leg. Week 2. Moving the haunche...

"What if... you could improve your horse's canter by adding your lower leg?  Now you can watch to see how Susan is able to bring Beau to a new level of connection and balance at the trot and canter"

Watching Susan's progress with Beau has been fun.  As you know, Beau came to us with a few issues...  but now, you can barely see them!  In this session we focus on improving the quality of Beau's canter.  In the past, his tendency has been to be a little 'heavy" on the forehand at times, he was also a little "lateral" in this canters. As you can see, he is now much more consistent and is looking like a 2nd Level Dressage horse more every day.  

What have you been learning from Susan and Beau this past year?  How have they made a difference for you?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Walk/trot Week 2. The timing of the rider's aids. Lower Leg. Stepping in...

"How do you know if your horse is listening to your lower legs when you ask it to step up or move from side to side?  The only way to know... is to check"

This is week 2 of "The Timing of the  the Riders Aids".  In this session Susan continues with feeling how she can influence Beau with her riding position and aids.  Now, she asks Beau to move his haunches with her lower leg. Watch what happens as both Susan and Beau connect at a new level in their balance!

Can you see how much better Beau is listening to Susan's lower leg aids now?  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Timing of the riders aids. Trot. Week 2. Staying connected in transition...

"Week 2. The Timing of the Rider's Aids at the Trot. Adding the riders lower leg to control the direction of the horses hind feet"

Check out the changes! In this session,we continue to focus on the timing of Susan's aids and how to get Beau to respond to them. Now we are now going to see what we can do to get Beau to respond more to Susan's lower legs for both moving forward and side to side. Of course, as usual, Beau's is thrilled about this change. The difference is that now he seems to be aware that it is OK to change what he is doing. He might have a little temper tantrum but now comes through them faster. In this video you will see what Beau looks like as he tries to understand the balance Susan wants him to be in with his shoulders up and his poll the highest part of his head position. Of course, to do this, Beau has to step under his center of balance more with his hind feet. You will be able to see Beau working through this process during this video. It was very exciting for me to catch that moment in a horses training. The facts are, Horses do have to change what they are doing before they can move up to a new level of balance or connection. So do the riders....
Can you see the changes in what is happening with Beau?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The timing of the riders aids. Adding the thigh to move the shoulder. ...

"So...  you really want to start riding more lateral work?  Let's start by becoming aware of how you can influence and control your horses shoulders more....with your thighs"

Oh, yes.  Your legs will burn as you practice this awareness exercise.  :) However, the good news is that you will also find that you really can ask your horse to communicate with you in a different way as you add your thigh (the inside) in time with the horses rhythm.  Now you can watch what happens with Trudy as she focuses on asking Melody to listen to what she is asking her to do with her thighs.

Have you tried timing your rein and leg aids to your horses movement yet?  How it is working for you? 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Timing of the aids.Walk.Thigh for shoulders. Ani goes into fear Mode. Ho...

All of a sudden, out of no where appeared, a cat in the sunlight... on a fence, We started this session with a focus on the riders adding their thigh muscle (inside) to have more control and influence over the horses shoulders. We had a slight detour with Ani going into fear mode, but Trudy knew what to do with that situation and so Susan and I continued the concept with Beau" 

This is from the "Timing of the Rider's Aids series. We start this session by checking to see if the riders could feel their horses listening to either their rein or leg aids. It was during this time that Ani decided to show us what a horse looks like that is not "softening at the jaw" or "softening to the rein connection" Meanwhile, Susan continues focusing on Beau and his responses to the rein and aids. Susan is aware of when Beau is locking up his jaw or poll, she can also feel how his next reaction is to drop his poll and go behind the vertical with his nose, It's time for a different sequence of aids. We are going to teach Beau to keep his poll up with the outside rein and leg. Watch what happens in this session as both of these riders and their horses get through some pretty interesting challenges.   

Monday, December 1, 2014

Trot. Ani and Beau. Balancing between the inside and outside aids

"A trotting we will go... a trotting we will go... How the timing of your rein and leg aids can make everything smoother"

We are back with Trudy Adams on Ani and Susan Faulkner Evans on Beau. In this session we focus on the timing of the riders aids at the trot. Ani needs to slow down (on this day...) and stay connected with Trudy. Meanwhile, Beau decides its time for a holiday. Susan is riding him on a longer rein, (always asking for some type rein connection) and is checking to see where his favorite places are to lock up in his jaw, poll and neck. Since he likes to go behind the vertical we have added the outside rein and leg to position his poll. We start doing that in this video. We will be using that technique more now. 

What do you feel about the timing of the aids for riders now? Can you see how they make a difference?