Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rein Contact for the 2nd time. Staying connected. S4 Riding instructor

"Taking up the contact with the reins at the canter for the 2nd time! This is what happens with most riders who are working on the next level of connection and balance. It might be exactly what you need to see"

Trudy and Ani are moving up the training scale. Now Trudy is ready to pick up the reins and ask Ani to connect with her from her leg aids. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially at the canter.  Trudy had been riding Ani on a loose rein like a green horse.  Now, she is learning how to balance Ani in a new way.  

Is your horse balanced at the canter yet?  What did you learn from watching this video?


Monday, March 30, 2015

Rein contact at the trot. 4th time! What to expect. S4 Riding instructor

Are your ready to take up the contact with the reins? What if it is new to you or to your horse? What can you expect? 

In this session you will see how Trudy is training Ani to except the contact of the reins. To do this we are using walk trot transitions and have Trudy focus on when she feels Ani disconnect from the contact between her leg aids and the rein. This is only the 4th session we have worked on this and you can see what happens to most horses and riders as they learn how rein contact can be used to connect a horse in a better balance mentally and physically. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's time to stretch into the contact for the 4th time. S4 Riding instr...

"Are you finally... ready to ask your horse to allow you take up contact from the reins?  Now you can watch what this rider is doing to show her horse what that means with the stretch at the walk"

Many riders are not sure what that "stretchy" thing is that dressage riders do.  When done correctly, the horses back will lift up as horse stretches into the riders rein contact as a result of rider asking them to step up more from their hind feet. 

Now you can watch as Trudy teaches Ani how to stretch into the contact. This is the 4th session that we have focused on this and you will see what happens to most horses and riders as they go through that process.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

It's time to Connect this horse from the leg to the rein. Getting on the...

"What if... you have finally come to the point in your horses training where you are ready to ask them to stay on the bit.. What should you expect and what should you do?"

When a horse is learning how to stay connected they are not sure what is going on. Especially if this is also new for the rider. Now you can watch what happens with a Trudy and Ani as they focus on staying connected at the walk halt transitions for the 4th time. This is still very new to both of them. 

Today was another great ride. It was raining and Ani was a little fussy when Trudy started asking her to stay connected in the transitions. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Half Halts and Mini Stretches to connect with a hot or nervous horse. S4...

"Is your horse a little hot blooded or seems nervous most of the time? You are not alone. Melody has a history of being complicated. Now you can see what Trudy does to keep Melody more connected"

We were not sure how this day would go as Trudy has not been able to ride for 6 weeks or so. As most of our fans know, Melody is a complicated horse and it is hard to keep her attention so we were not sure what would happen. So back to basics we went. Before this winter came we had finally reached the point where Melody was allowing Trudy to keep her somewhat balanced and on the aids. We were thrilled when we were able to go back to where we left off and build up on that foundation. Now you can see what Trudy is doing with half halts and mini stretches at the walk and walk trot transitions to keep Melody focused.

Of course, this will work with any horse. Try this with yours this week and tell us how it works with your horse.

Half Halts and Turn Around the Haunches. Staying connected! S4 Dressage...

"Would you like to see what happens when a half halt is added to the turn on the haunches for the first time? 

Susan and Beau are becoming such a great team to watch. Beau is now more willing and we are asking him to stay connected and balanced at 2nd level. To do this we have become very focused on the correctness of the half halts in any of the movements he is doing. Now you can watch the progress we are using to refine the turn on the haunches with the half halt. During this session Susan also become aware of when Beau was "dropping to the inside" This is when he was not between her lateral aids. To isolate what needed to be done Susan practices riding Beau's shoulders. 

Are you riding the turn on the haunches yet? How does this video help you to understand them better?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Connecting a hot/nervous horse with half halts. Final trot. S4. riding i...

Sometimes... even with a hot or nervous horse, you have a good day. We never know what might happen with Melody, but this was the best day she has given to us yet"

This is our final session for the day. Melody has never been this responsive and is listening to both Trudy's half halts and the Steps to Connection. Since Melody has not been ridden for at least 6 weeks we did not expect this at all. In fact, we had only worked with connecting Melody two times before this session and we were thrilled that she seemed to remember what we did. It will be interested to see if this is a new phase in Melody's training. We decided not to canter this day as this was enough of a mental and physical challenge for both of them.
How does it make you feel when your horse goes to a new level? Do you wonder if it will stay there? Personally I have found that the horse and rider will "bounce" back and forth between the new level and where they were for a bit. With correct riding and patience they both get comfortable at the new level and it becomes more consistent.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

How half halts at the walk can keep a complicated or "hot" horse connect...

What if... you have one of those horses that is hard to keep connected? It might be a "hot" horse or just complicated.  Either way, that horse does not seem to want to stay connected. Watch what happens as we focus on making sure this horse is listening to the half halts"

Those who know Melody, know how far she has come in the past  years.  However, like any horse that is easily distracted she can be challenging at times. In this session we focus on Trudy keeping Melody connected with half halts and the Steps to Connection.  This is the third lesson where we have asked Melody to stay in this connection and balance. We were not sure what would happen as it has been 6 weeks since Trudy has been able to ride her.  The good news was that both Melody and Trudy picked up from where they were before!  Now you can watch what we did and see the results as Trudy became more aware of when Melody was staying connected and how to keep her there.

What did you learn from watching this video that you can use to keep your horse more connected?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Staying connected in the stretchy trot with half halts. S4 dressage tra...

"The trot. A stretching we will go... a stretching we will go. What? I need to ask my horse to stretch while doing half halts and keeping my horse connected?"

It has been a long winter and Trudy has not been on Ani for at least 6 weeks.  Now that we have warmed up both of them we are going to see if Trudy can ask Ani to stretch at the trot.  The trick will be in keeping Ani connected (the Steps to Connection) with half halts. Trudy makes this look easier than it might feel for you.

Now you can see what might happen with you and your horse as you are focused on a stretchy trot with the horse staying connected.  Are you ready to try this on your horse?  Let us know how it works for you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Stretchy Walk. Can you stay connected after not riding for a few mon...

"New"  What if...you are just starting to teach your horse the stretchy walk?  This could be new to the horse or rider, or simply, as in this video, after the horse has had time off due to a long winter. Where should you start and how much should you expect?"

Trudy has not been able to ride for at least 6 weeks.  Now that the weather is better, she is back in the saddle. We have now warmed up at the walk and trot (we will not canter until next week) and are now using the stretchy walk to check where Ani is. Since both of them have had so much time off their muscles are not as toned as they were before. We start our stretches by making sure that Ani i listening to Trudy's half halts and also add the Steps to Connection to keep her back and shoulders up.  As you will see, Ani is willing and able to give us a few "mini" stretches that we were very happy with.  By the end of this short session, Trudy legs were cramping which might also happen to you when you return to riding. In the next session we move up into the stretchy trot.

Have you checked the quality of your horses stretches lately?  Can they keep connected as you do them?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"Would you like to know how I got my start with horses? It is probably going to 
surprise you. Now you can read about it as I share my story in the ''Equestrian Calender of Aiken" This will be a continuing series that begins with my first horse Sundance who I rode bareback for years...

Subscribe to their newsletter today to see what is "Shaken in Aiken" at Equestrian Calendar Aiken​  to keep up with everything that is happening with our neighbors to the south.

You can check out what I shared this week by clicking on this link:
Dreaming of Horses... Randi Thompson

Half halts and Steps to Connection. Walk trots. After 6 weeks off. S4 ...

"NEW series! "Have you had to take time off from your riding because of the weather or other reasons?  Now you can watch as we focus on the bringing both the horse and rider back with half halts and the Steps to Connection at the walk and walk trot transitions" 

Now that we have warmed up at the walk, it is time to focus a little more on the transitions into the trot and a little trot. Trudy is focused on her half halts.  She is feeling them in her riding position and checking to make sure that Ani is responding to them.  Next, we add the Steps to Connection so that Ani is more connected and in a better balance.  We were thrilled with the results of this days sessions as we had only asked Ani to connect at this level two times before the winter came.  She remembered what we had done!  Now you can watch the process we use to bring them back. 

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!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Half halts and steps to connection. S4 Dressage instruction Tryon NC

"NEW series!  "Have you had to take time off from your riding because of the weather or other reasons?  We have had a rough winter and now Trudy is finally able to ride again after at least 6 weeks. Now you can watch what we do 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.  We started by lunging her and she was very fresh. It has been over 6 weeks since their last ride and we were not sure what to expect.   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) than 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!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Is your saddle shifting to one side? Now you can finally fix it! Dressa...

“Why is my saddle always slipping to one side?”  Check out this video and the link to an article that talks about the process that is below.

Most riders know the feeling of a shifting saddle, which can occur for many reasons: it could be how your horse is carrying you, or a saddle not fitting the horse exactly right, or more than likely, this is how you have been balancing your riding position in the saddle for a long time.
You are not alone. Most riders do put most of their weight onto one side of their riding position, causing the saddle to shift.
What can you do about your shifting saddle?  How to Tame a Shifting Saddle From Horse Collaborative

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Magic Square at the Walk. #1 Balancing a horse between the riders legs a...

"Teaching a rider how to balance a horse between their rein and legs for the first time"

This is Camille Beatty and Polo practicing how to stay more connected with the "Magic Square" For this exercise, we are using the a circle type of pattern. It is almost like a figure 8 of sorts. Watch what happens as Camille Beatty begins to understand how to use her legs and reins more effectively to influence Polo as she goes through the process. At first, they wobble all over. This is a great exercise for coaching riders, or for teaching yourself... how to use your legs and reins. Somehow, the pattern allows the rider to feel what they are doing in ways that are simply amazing. Now you can watch how it works with a rider who is doing this for the first time. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

"Where are your horses shoulders? Walk. Refining the Connection. S3. D...

"Would you like to know how to use the shoulder in or shoulder for to help you balance a horse between your aids?  Watch how this horse changes as Trudy focuses more on how connected Melody is staying. This is one of the first times that Melody (who had a lot of issues in the past) started to allow Trudy to keep her balanced like this both mentally and physically.  It was very exciting!

This was another break through session asTrudy becomes aware of how to ride (control or influence)  Ani's shoulders to keep her more connected. To do this I asked Trudy to "ride" Ani's shoulders. As a result, their balance and connection moved to a new level!  Stay tuned for the trot tomorrow. 

Could you see the change that happened when Trudy starting riding Ani's shoulders more?  

Trot/transitions. Does your horse respond to your aids? How do you know?...

"Trot. Is your horse on your aids? How do you know?"

This is a question that many who ride horses are not sure of. How do you know if your horse is really on your "aids?" What are the steps to connection that you can check so you do know. Watch this video to see how this rider, Trudy, is finally (sometimes it can feel like forever with a horse that has lots of issues) able to keep Melody on the aids for the first time. This was a huge break through.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Movers and Shakers of the Horse World with Debi Metcalfe Stolen Horse I...

"Movers and Shakers of the Horse World" proudly
presents: the amazing Debi Metcalfe of Stolen Horse International, Inc. aka

Join with us as we "hang out" with Debi Metcalfe
of Stolen Horse International aka NetPosse.com Now you can meet Debi and see
why everyone loves her so much. We will chat about what she is doing, her
future plans and will leave time for you to ask her questions that you may have
about protecting your horse or equipment from being stolen and how you can help
other people find their lost or stolen horses and more by joining with the
internationally recognized Net Posse network.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Movers and Shakers of the Horse World with Debi Metcalfe Stolen Horse I...

"Movers and Shakers of the Horse World Presents: Debi Metcalfe of  "

Join with us as we "hang out" with Debi Metcalfe of  +Stolen Horse International aka NetPosse.com   Now you can meet Debi and see why everyone loves her so much.  We will chat about what she is doing, her future plans and will leave time for you to ask her questions that you may have about protecting your horse or equipment from being stolen and how you can help others find what has been taken from them.  

Sign up at this link so we can send you the information you need and add you to our mailing list for future events.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movers-shakers-of-the-horse-world-with-debi-metcalfe-of-netpossecom-registration-16063965754

The "Movers and Shakers of the Horse World" is a series starring some of the most influential and well known experts in the equine industry. Originally airing in 2012, host Randi Thompson of How to Market Your Horse Business and Horse and Rider Awareness has now joined forces with Carol Aldridge of Equine Office Solutions to continue this ever-popular series.

Now you can meet, listen and talk to "Movers and Shakers of the Horse World"  Each month host Randi Thompson invites you to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee as she talks to the people who have made the biggest impact in the horse world. Each session will be recorded so you can watch and listen to it at any time.

Future eposides of the Movers and Shakers of the Horse World include:

April  14th    Wayne L. Williams of Speaking of Horses TV   http://www.speakingofhorses.com/

May 11th  Fran Jurga http://hoofcare.blogspot.com/

June 9th   Christy Lanwehr, Chief Executive Officer of the Certified Horsemanship Association http://www.cha-ahse.org

July   14th   Glen the Geek of Horses in the Morning   horseradionetwork.com

Friday, March 6, 2015

How to keep your horse straight by adding your lower legs. Walk. S3 Dre...

"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.  

Stay tuned as in part 3 for the first time you will see Melody stay connected in the canter! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Whats happening with your riding position when you ask your horse to halt, back or move forward....

"What are you doing with your riding position when you ask your horse to back, half halt and move forward?  Watch how we isolate what this rider has been doing with her riding position."

We start this session by showing Trudy how to feel what her riding position is doing when she is riding a half halt.  That way she will have a better understanding of how this feeling applies to how she is backing Ani.   Once Trudy has isolated that feeling, we add it to how she is asking Ani to halt, back up and than move forward again.  What is interesting is that you will see Ani's balance and responses improve as Trudy focuses on old habits she needs to change. Watch as Trudy starts exploring the possibilities of what she can do with her riding position.

What did you see changing in how Ani was backing up?  Could you see the difference in how Trudy is now using her riding position?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Is your horse on the inside hind? How can you tell? S2 dressage lessons,...

"You have heard people say...  Your horse should be balanced so that it's weight is shifted on the inside hind on curves and circles.  What does that mean?  How can you know if you are doing it right?

This is another blast from the past.  This was Season 2 when I first began to show Camille how to balance Polo.  We start by having Camille what her riding position should be doing which helps her to become aware of how keeping Polo in balance should work.

Now go out and try this on your horse.  What did you experience?