Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ani and Beau walk Where is your horse not responding?

"Is you horse really listening to you?  How can you be sure?  Now you can watch as we take the time to see if these riders are using their aids in ways their horses can really understand"

At first when we started this exercise, both the riders and horses were now sure what was happening.  It was not that what they were doing was new... instead it was the timing of the aids to using the rein and leg aids on the side where the horse is stepping off the ground with the hind foot on that side.  It sounds complicated at first, but is easily felt as the rider becomes more aware if when their horse is really listening to their aids or not.  As a result, both the horse and rider connect more at different levels. Now you can watch as Trudy and Susan practice the timing of their aids at the walk.

What do you see happening?  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Timing your aids at the walk. The beginning steps. #1 Group. Dressage ...

"Did you know... that your aids (legs and hands) should be timed with the horse's movement for a better connection?  Check out this video to watch how these two horses and riders change as they focus on the timing of their aids"

In this session we have two riders, Trudy Adams on Ani and Susan Faulkner Evans on Beau.  In this walk session we focus on how the riders should be using their aids, while keeping in rhythm with their horses feet.  This is where the timing of the aids or so important. Now you can see the step by step process that you can use get your horse to listen more to your aids and as a result, be more comfortable to ride and easier to influence.

What do you see changing?  Have you been able to try this on your horse yet?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Canter. The timing of the aids. Dressage tips Riding Instruction

"When should you be using your reins and legs at the canter?  Have you ever thought about the timing of your aids?  Now you can watch what happens with Susan and Beau"

Many riders are not sure when to use their aids when their horse is cantering.  The right time is when the horses inside hind (on the lead) is off the ground. Of course, this may not make a lot of sense until you see if first.  Now you can watch how this works with Susan and Beau.  This was an exciting session as Ani went into serious "fright mode" after seeing a monster on the fence. (This is not her home)  Since the sun was shining behind it, who knows what she really saw, but she was really afraid. This also effected Beau who knew there had to be some reason for Ani to be so afraid and he begins to look for monsters. Susan continues to keep his attention with her aids by adding simple lead changes to make sure he is listening to her aids.  At first she has to really ask him to soften his jaw with a stronger rein to get him to pay attention, than Beau gets back to connecting and does some of his best canter work ever.

Have you thought about your timing of aids as you are cantering?  Try this and see what it can do for you and your horse.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The timing of the riders aids. #3 Adding the thigh to influence the shou...

Would you like to improve your lateral work or have more control of your horse's shoulders? It's time to add your thigh! This is #3 the timing of the rider's aids"

We have covered the timing of the aids at the walk and trot so that we can feel when the horse is responding to our aids with the rein and legs on straight lines and curves. Now, we are ready to focus on how to influence the shoulders or front of the horse by adding our thigh in time with the horses movement. To do this, you will add your thigh to the aids. Trudy has never used her thigh before (as an aid) and you will be able to watch her work through the process and see how it effects Melody. This is especially important if your are riding lateral movements or would like to have more control of your horses shoulder.

Have you tried timing your aids with the horses movements yet? 


Monday, November 24, 2014

The timing of the rider's aids at the trot. The steps. #2 Dressage tips

"The trot. Have you ever felt like your horse was not listening to what you are asking with your reins and legs?  You are not alone.  What if what is happening is as simple as not knowing when to use your reins and legs?"

In this session Trudy becomes even more aware of how important the timing of her aids are with Melody.  First, Trudy needs to know when Melody's hind leg is off the ground. That is when Trudy will use her hand and or leg aids on what ever side she is focusing on.  To do this, Trudy asks Melody to "soften to the rein" by closing her fingers to feel when Melody "unlocks" her jaw and neck muscles. From there Trudy is ready to check if Melody is also soft on the outside rein. This is the rein that adjust where Melody's poll is and also unlocks the neck and back of the horse. This is when Trudy is ready to see if Melody is listening to her lower leg at the same time as she is using her rein aid. By the end of this session, Trudy is able to balance Melody softly between her reins and legs both side to side (laterally) and from the back to the front.  

Can you see the changes that have happened with Melody?  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The timing of the rider's aids at the walk. The steps. #1 Dressage Trai...

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

In this session I ask Trudy to really become aware of when Melody is 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 her jaw. 3) Melody will flex her neck (so the muscle falls to the outside) 4) Trudy aids her inside calve 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 was must 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.  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Keeping a light, following rein at the trot. The basics of Riding Positi...

"What can you do to finally know if you have an even rein contact... at the trot?"

This is Camille on Polo.  In this session we focus on Camille feeling that she can follow Polo's mouth at the trot and in changes of direction.  The horses head and neck stay pretty much the same at the trot, It is the rider that often finds themselves going all over the place with the trot movement.  Now you can watch as Camille discovers (this is typical for most riders)  when she gets heavy on the reins and when she disconnects her connection through the reins with Polo.  We are bringing Polo back from an injury and have decided it is time to go back to the basics.  This is a good thing for all of us to do in our riding. 

Are you ready to try this at the trot?  Be patient with your process as you might be surprised at what is really happening with your hands.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Trots. Training/1st Level Dressage. Metronome. #1 Susan and Beau

"How to Improve a Horse's Trot with the Metronome"

It's amazing what a metronome can do for a horses balance. By finding the right rhythm we can improve the gaits of a horse, which also makes them more comfortable to ride.  If you are showing,  the judges will notice the difference between a horse with regular gaits, and one that is going in and out of rhythm.  It shows in how the horse uses its legs!   In this session, Susan Faulkner Evans is focusing on the trot rhythm. As you will see, the quality of Beau's gaits gets better. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are you riding through your elbows or hands?

 "Are you ready to ride your horse more from your seat and legs?  Now you can watch these riders as they go though the process of becoming aware of if they are riding more from their hands or elbows while asking their horses to stay more connected for the first time."

In this session we focus on a common issue for many riders. They are not sure how to connect more with the horse from their seat and legs at the same time that they are focused on keeping a connection with the reins. This is a step in the training process that those who ride their horse in balance all seem to have to go through. It sounds so easy... but does not make sense until you finally feel it in your riding position and in the connection you have with the horse. This was from our Green Horse Class and was from a few years ago when we were first starting to connect these horses and riders.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Canter/trot transitions. What are you doing with your riding position? H...

"What happens to your riding position and lower legs when you are cantering?"

Most riders either stand on their toes, or have the tendency to raise their seats out of the saddle when they ride a transition of or down into the canter.  Have you noticed if you do this?"

Now you can watch what happens as I focus on what Camille has been doing with here lower legs and seat. We start with her feeling if she is standing on her toes, instead of stretching into her calf muscle. Next, we focus on what she is doing at the canter as she changes to a trot and back up into the canter where she is standing in her irons and lifting her seat, instead of following Polo's movements   Watch what happens as both of them start to connect at a new level.   

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How to fix your lower leg position at the trot. Riding instructor

"What if... you could finally find a way to get your lower leg to stay where it is supposed to be while you are riding the trot.  Is it possible?"

Now you can watch what I did with Camille to help her become aware of when she was standing on her toes in the irons instead of letting the weight of her riding position sink into her heels. This is a common riding challenge for many riders at all levels.  First Camille needs to become aware of what she has been doing, than we focus on how she can do to find the correct position. 

Are you ready to improve your lower leg position?  Tell us how this techniques make a difference for what you are doing. 
As always, we do not edit what we show you.  This way, you can see what happens to real horses and riders as they go through the training process.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stretching for the first time! Cooling down with the stretchy walk. Dres...

"What if you... could finally understand how to get your horse to do a stretchy walk?  Now you can see what we do with Trudy as she asks Melody to stretch at the walk"

This is Trudy Adams on Melody.  This was a break through session as it was at the beginning when we were first asking Melody to stretch into the reins.  This was very difficult for Melody at the time of this filming as she had just started to let go in her mind and body. Finally, she was beginning to relax. We had been trotting  and are using the stretchy walk to cool Melody down. Now, we ask that Trudy keeps Melody under her seat and connected as she focuses on doing the same exercise on a longer rein. This is not as easy as Trudy makes it look. The stretchy walk is much more difficult to keep a horse under the riders seat and connected as the result of a longer rein.  Trudy is now much more aware of when Melody is really under her seat and leg/aids. Melody is still not sure, but is now more willing to allow Trudy to "drive her" from her back end intstead of steering from the front. As a result, Melody is much lighter on the reins and more responsive to Trudy's seat and legs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Canter. How to connect your riding position for a half half, adding the ...

"Is your horse listening to your seat and legs at the canter?. Now you can see what I do with this rider to help her become more aware of how to use her seat and legs to create a half halt to get her horses attention"

This is Susan on Darrien. When Darrien first came to us he had a few issues and our goal was to get him to relax more to what Susan was asking him to do. In this session added the neck strap so that Susan could focus more on connecting him to her seat and legs through the half halts. She is riding him on a long rein. Watch what happens as Darrien become more aware of what Susan wants him to do. You will see his shoulders and back start to come up as he goes into a better balance.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How to connect your riding position for a half halt. #2 The magic of the...

"What if... there was a way that you could improve your rising/posting trot and your horses movement at the same time?  There is!  Try the neck strap"

Here we move up into the trot work. Now that we have added the neck strap, it is easier for Susan to feel when she is in the right place with her riding position for the posting/rising trot and to focus on feeling the  half halt at the trots. All we want Beau to do is to track up (step into the hoof print of his front foot, or in front of it, with his back hoof print)  as Susan focuses on what she is doing with her riding position. This is the first time we have let Beau go on such a long rein and he is not sure what to think about it. It takes about 3 mins before Beau starts responding more to Susan's seat and legs. As a result, he starts moving better!

Can you see the changes happening?  Are you ready to try the neck strap?

(This should only be done in an enclosed area on a safe horse)

Friday, November 7, 2014

How to connect your riding position for a half halt.#1 The magic of the ...

"What if... you could finally understand how a half halt works on a horse when you are using your riding position the right way"

Half halts are a mystery to so many riders.  The fact is, until you feel them in your riding position, and your horse responds to your change in position, you may not really know what they are or what they can do for communicating more effectively to your horse. Beau is ready for a higher level of balance and connection and it is time for Susan to refine her half halts.  All Susan is doing is holding the neck strap with her hands like they are the reins.  When she feels the neck strap getting tight in her hands she knows her seat has slid back in the saddle. This is usually a result of a horse dropping their back and going behind the aids.  It is time for a halt halt!  Now you can watch as Susan begins to ride Beau more from her seat and legs instead of the reins at the walk and halts.

How are your half halts?  Are you sure they are working?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to connect your riding position for a half halt. #3 The magic of the...

"What is a "half halt" They really do not make sense, until a rider feels them through their riding position and when the horse responds to them. Now you can see what happens with this rider as we focus on what she is doing with her riding position and reins"

Now, thanks to the neck strap, Lisa is more aware of how to use her riding position for a half halt. Lisa's first "Ah ha" moment came when she realized how often she had been dropping, pulling or leaning on the reins, instead of adjusting her riding position, when she has been doing a half halt. Like most riders who try this awareness technique, Lisa was surprised when she felt how a half halt should feel in her riding position. She also felt the difference in how Sonyador responded to them. In this session you will be able to watch as Lisa learns how to use the half halt to get Sonyador in front of her legs/aids and taking up a connection through the reins. 

Can you see the changes that are happening with Lisa and Sonyador? Are you ready to try this yet?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Are you riding from your seat and legs? #2 Trot walks. The neck strap. D...

"What if... you have been leaning on the reins when you use them.  How can you tell and how does your doing this effect your horse?"

 This is part 2 where we focus on the walk trot transitions and changes of direction. Lisa is holding the reins and is using a neck strap. This was a big break through for Lisa as she became aware of when she was leaning on the reins to balance her riding position, and she felt how her riding position was not staying connected to Sonyador as she was riding.  Now you can see the changes that happens in both Lisa's riding position and Sonyador's movement.  Tomorrow I will share how to use the neck strap so that you can finally... understand how a half halt should feel.

Even though using a neck strap sounds a little strange, you will be amazed at how much it can teach you about how you are using your riding position and the reins.  Are you ready to try it yet?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Are you riding from your seat and legs? Let's see. The neck strap. Walk ...

"How can a rider have a better feeling of how to ride from their seat and legs? Take away their reins! In this series I tie a twine around Sonyador's neck (I call it the neck strap) and ask Lisa Dutra to ride her that way"

What did Lisa learn? First, she became aware of how often her seat slides to the back of the saddle (this happens with many riders). Next she discovered that she had not been following Sonyadors movement with her seat. As a result of doing this awareness exercise Lisa felt a big change in her riding position. Now you can watch Lisa's process and try it when you ride. This is part #1 of this series. I will share the trot work next. So you know, this is not as easy as Lisa makes it look. 

Are you ready to take your riding to the next level? Try the neck strap and see how it makes you a more effective rider. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Would you like to improve your seat and hands at the canter? Try the n...

"Would you like to improve your seat and hands at the canter?  Try the neck strap and you will be amazed at the changes you can make"

In this session we focus on Camille's riding position at the canter.  To do this, we have added the neck strap so that she keeps her hands in the right place to balance her riding position.  As an added benefit, you will see that she also discovers how to keep an even feel on both sides of the reins (she is holding the neck strap at the same time). At first Polo is a little resistant.  This is when Camille is holding the reins to short and brings his nose in to far to control the canter and keep Polo straight.  Watch as her position improves and Polo moves more freely as Camille starts using her seat and legs more effectively.   

What do you see changing?  Are you ready to try this on your horse?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Is your horse getting fussy when you are riding? Maybe it's your hands!

"Is your horse getting fussy when you are riding? Maybe it's your hands!"

In this session Camille discovers that she has been twisting her riding position and keeping an uneven feel on the reins when she is focusing on keeping Polo straight. Now you can watch as Polo become fussier when Camille asks him to balance. Since Camille is using the neck strap, she realized that when she is asking for straightness or lateral work with Polo, that she has been twisting her riding position and what she was doing with her hands! This was a huge break through for her! Once she could feel what she was doing, Camille was able to ride more with her riding position and keep an even feel on the neck strap.
What did you see changing? Can you see how the neck strap made it easier for Camille to understand what she was doing with her riding position and rein connection?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Hill work for a better leg position and connection" #1 Trudy and Ani Dr...

"Would you like to know how you can keep your lower leg in the right position? One of the best techniques I have seen is to practice the correct feel of your lower leg as you go up and down small hills"

Of course, first you need to be sure that your seat is over your lower legs.   What does that mean?  Watch what I do with Trudy and you will have a better understanding. We start with focusing on what she should be feeling her seat over her lower leg on the flat than move up to seeing if she can keep connected to them as she rides up and down hills.  

Are you ready to try this rider awareness exercise?  Tell us how it works for you.