Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Canter. Can you get your horse "on the bit" in the warm up?

"Does your horse "lock up" to your aids (or ignore you) in the canter when you ask it to take up contact?  What can you do when your horse says it does not want to connect with you, even in the warm up canter?"

Susan continues to improve Darriens response to the aids. In this video we are warming him up at the canter. How does your horse respond to your connection in the canter warm up?  Has it reached the point where it is somewhat willing to connect with you or are you still trying to find that place?  The good news for you is that all riders who train their own horses will go through this phase.  That is why we are sharing the training progress of the Horse and Rider Awareness riders and their horses with you.  So you can see what really happens. 

It has taken us over a year to get him to relax and listen to what she is asking him to do.  In this video we focus on what length of rein we need to keep him "on the bit" and as relaxed as possible in the warm up.  This may seem like a simple concept for some riders, but for others, getting their horses to this point in their training is a huge achievement.  Darrien has just started accepting a "willing" contact on the reins these past few months. This was from the past training that he came with. Now he is finally starting to responding by softening to Susan's aids while staying connected from her legs into the rein connection. Last year at this time Darrien was still in his double bridle which is common for an FEI dressage horse and in fact, the only way he was safe at that time.  This year, as you can see, we have him in a snaffle.  In fact, Susan is competing him in Prix St George and Intermediate 1 in it.