Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Canter. What are you doing with your hands? Where should they be?

"What if... you really have a feeling that it is time to ride your horse in more of a connection at the canter. You know, the kind where you feel that your horse is staying soft to the reins and is "balanced" somewhat between your leg and rein aids. Now you can learn the Secret of the Trainers. It's all about your riding position!"

Trudy has brought Ani a long way in her training. This is their warm up canter and on this day Trudy asked me to isolate what she is doing to keep Ani connected. Before this week Trudy had been working on this but now she is feeling serious about asking Ani to stay softer to the rein connection at the canter. Its a big step and now you can watch how important Trudy's riding position and length of rein is to that process.

What did you learn from watching this Horse and Rider Awareness video? Are you ready to ask your horse to stay more connected at the canter yet? Please share your feedback as we love to hear what is happening in your training process and how these videos are making a difference for you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

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

"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. 

Can you see how the timing of the aids depends on where the horses hind foot is? (on the side you are using the aids on...) Try this on your horse (or student) and let us know how timing your aids makes a difference for what you are doing with your horse at the walk. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Improve your riding position at the rising trot in 30 days!

Now you can improve your riding position in 30 days! It's time to go back to the basics and focus on your riding position at the Trot"

Last year was a long winter and at the time of this filming Trudy has only been able to ride maybe 10 times in the past 3 months. Like most riders, she was probably not as steady with her riding position as she would like to be. We start re connecting her riding position by focusing on her lower leg position. In the process we work on issues that are common with most riders. To do this I have added the neck strap so that Trudy keeps her hands where they need to be to balance her seat over her lower legs. Next, we start doing different exercises that will help her to focus on what she needs to feel. At first, she is not able to sit two rise one in the posting but little by little... gets back into a more secure seat. To improve your riding position all you need to do is try these exercises for 30 days. 5 minutes a day. You will be amazed at the difference in your riding position.

Let me know how these exercises work for you. Please tell us what you experience (whining is allowed...) and how different your riding position and lower leg feel after you try them.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A NEW Trot! Bend behind for shoulder in, half pass trot. Retraining a Schoolmaster

"A NEW trot for Darrien!  What an exciting time this has been. Finally...  Darrien is allowing Susan to ride him in a different balance and connection at the trots.  Check out how what they are doing now"

Sometimes we wonder if our horses will ever move up to the next level.  It does take time that is for sure.  The good news is that you have been able to watch the training progress of our featured riders and their horses and can see the possibilities of what can happen with horses with issues and non professional riders. In this session we continue our focus on the "bend from behind the saddle" and have added the feeling of what Darriens trot could feel like by asking him to trot over the ground poles.  What is most exciting for us is that now Darrien is breathing most of the time (instead of holding his breath) and is using his back much better.  In fact now he is starting to swing more from his shoulders and hips which has created a new movement in his trot.

Can you see how "lofty" Darrien's trot is becoming as he gets more comfortable using his back?  This is a new movement for him that has never been shown before even in his past.  Who would have thought an older horse could learn a new way of moving like this?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Canter. Bending from behind.Retraining a Schoolmaster. S4 Dressage video

"Improving the canter with the "bend from behind" This begins with how you are using your riding position. It's time to focus on more ways to stay connected and in balance at the canter"

It has taken us almost 2 years for Susan to get Darrien to relax and respond to what we are doing. He came to us with a lot of issues and we are slowly unraveling them and rebuilding his knowledge. Finally, Darrien has lost a lot of his "anxiety" about the training process. He is breathing and more relaxed. As a result we can now focus even more on his balance and if he is really "bending" from the front and the back. As part of this process you will see that towards the end of this video that he starts going sideways as he tried to understand what Susan wants. The good news is that this gave us an opportunity to go even "deeper" in the following videos to fill in those missing holes in his training.

Have you noticed that your horse also has learning curves as you go through the training process? How has watching Susan and Beau's process made a difference for what you are doing? 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A new walk! Feeling when a horse is connected through the top line FEI...

"What if.. like many riders you keep hearing that your horse needs to be more connected and balanced and connected at the walk.  What does that mean?  How do you know when "it" finally happens?  Now you can watch what happens as Susan takes Darrien to a new level at the walk by focusing on how he is staying connected in his neck"

This was a breakthrough session for Susan and Darrien.  It has taken us two years to reach this level as Darrien (Susan's new FEI horse) had to work through a lot of physical and mental issues before he was ready.  In this session he changed his walk!  It was very exciting to see as for the first time Darrien is staying connected and in balance (round/on the aids/in front of the legs, on the bit, packaged and so on) now you can see the process we have used and the results.

Can you see how Darrien's walk changed?  Are you ready to try this Horse and Rider Awareness technique on your horse?  Stay tuned as there are two more videos from this session and you will be able to see that even Darrien's trot has now changed!  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stepping more sideways and bending from behind in lateral work. Trot. S4...

"Would you like to know how you can teach your horse to take longer steps sideways in the leg yields or lateral work? You are not alone.  This is one of the biggest challenges for riders and their horses as they both need to learn a new way to balance while staying connected" 

This is the final video of this series with Susan and Beau. What a transformation!  Our goal was to ask Beau to stay connected while taking longer steps in a different balance where he is shifting his weight back more to his haunches. As you can see, they have gone to a new level.  To do this, we focused on the "bend from behind the saddle".  What we also found interesting was the importance of Susan keeping her inside leg and weight softer and her position anchored on the outside  (as too much weight or riders leg aids will shift the horses rib cage and back out instead of under the rider on the inside for circles and lateral work)  We are very happy with the changes and are happy to share them with you so that you can also see the possibilities with your horse or students. To see more about how we started this process check out this weeks posts or go to our Youtube channel and look in the Playlist area under "bending from behind"

Have you tried this yet?  Stay tuned as I will be sharing the same process with Susan and Darrien next.  You will see that even a schoolmaster can learn new ways of doing things.  :) 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bending from behind. WOW. New movement! Pirouettes/shoulder/half pass ...

"Woot Woot! Breakthrough for Susan and Beau! Check out how we are getting the "bend" behind the saddle and how it changes the way Beau is moving. This is part #2 where we move up into the trot"

What happened? Beau is now moving different at he walk and trot! Especially in the lateral movements. His strides are longer and his balance more consistent. As those who have been following the progress of Susan and Beau know... Beau has been a complicated horse who came to us with a lot of serious issues. With Susan's love for him and dedication to the training process he has continued to improve. Since they are competing in 2nd level dressage they are doing more "lateral work" like the shoulder in, half pass and turn on the haunches (walk pirouette) These lateral exercises have not been easy for Beau to understand and his tendency, before this day, was to lock up at times and take short steps. First we had to teach him how to be more supple in the front (bending from the front of the saddle and staying soft to the rein connection) than this day, we were finally able to add the bending from behind the saddle which changed his movement. The good news is that we have filmed their training process for the past 4 years so you can see everything Susan has done to get Beau to this level. You can find them on this Youtube channel in the playlist area.

Are you enjoying watching the training progress of our featured riders? As you know, we do not edit any of the videos and are showing you actual training sessions where I am coaching as I am trying to film. It is your feedback that inspires both the riders and myself to continue sharing this information with you. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bending from behind. Pirouettes/half pass to WOW a new walk #1 S4 Dressa...

"Would you like to improve your turns on the haunches, walk pirouettes, shoulder in's or half pass?  If so, this might be exactly what you need to watch.  This is a break through session where Susan shows Beau how to "sit down" more from behind as he also keeps the right bend from in front and behind.  Now you can watch the process we are using (a part of our bending from behind series)  and at the end, see Beau's new walk that happened as a result"

Have you always want to know what is meant by  asking a horse to "sit down more" or have more "engagement from behind"  Now you can watch as Susan asks Beau to balance in new ways so that he can take longer steps and stay balanced over his hindquarters in the lateral movements.  When we "cool down" at the end, Beau offers us a new walk!  It is so exciting to watch the progress they are making.  Stay tuned as I will share the final video of Susan and Beau focusing on the "bend behind the saddle" tomorrow.

Can you see what happens as Susan balances Beau for the lateral movements?  Is your horse bending behind the saddle yet?  (not for green horses) 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The bend from behind the saddle. How you can feel it! Trot. S4 Riding i...

"Finally... the mysteries of the correct bend in your horse revealed!  Now, you can see and understand what is meant by having the right "bend" from behind the saddle"  

If you are like many riders you enjoy doing different things with your horse. In this session (4 videos) you will see a big change in Beau's movement. He went to a new level of balance and connection! All we did was take the time to focus on if he was really bending from behind the saddle in the curves and lateral work. It sounds easier than it might be. Now you can watch the process we are using and apply it to what you are doing with your horse.

Is your horse "bending" behind the saddle?  Can you feel it picking up your inside leg/seatbone when you practice your lateral movements? Are you ready to try this on your horse?  Let us know how it works for you and stay tuned as there are 7 videos in this series (2 horses) that you can watch to see the amazing changes that are happening with Susan's horses. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Canter. Adding the feeling of leg yields, shoulder ins for connection S4...

dressage, dressage training, equestrian, equitation, Horse and Rider Awareness, horse showing, horse training, horsemanship, horses, Randi Thompson, riding instruction, Tryon NC dressage

Those who know Melody's history have seen that teaching some horses to relax in the training process can take some time.  Especially when that horse is hot and nervous.  It has taken Trudy 4 years to get her to where she is now.  It is a big change and we filmed the process so you can see what might be happening with your horses training progress.  In this session we added curves and circles as a way to keep Melody more relaxed and connected in the canter.

Are you ready to try this with your horse?  Let us know how it works for you! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Connecting in the warm up trot. A new level of training. S4 horses

"Are you ready to ask your horse to connect more with you in the warm up trot?  It's a big step for anyone and now you can see what Trudy is doing with Ani to bring her to a new level of connection even in the warm up"

Who would have thought we would ever have been able to do this with Melody?  This was such a break through for Trudy to able to keep Melody relaxed even in the warm up!  She sure does not look like a hot nervous horse.  As you will see we do a lot of changes in our warm ups with different exercises.  Our goal is simple  To keep Melody connected between Trudy's legs and reins from back to front and from side to side.  

Are you ready to warm up your horse differently?  What did you  learn from watching what Trudy is doing with Melody now?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Hot nervous horse. Asking for connection in the Warm up walk. S4 Horse...

"What are you doing in your warm up? Would you like to see how we connect a hot, nervous horse in the warm up walk? As you will see, our goal is simple.  It's all about the connection and finding it as soon as possible"

The warm up is such an important part of your training process.  Of course, first you do want to warm your horses body up.  Than it's time to "warm up" their brains and how they are reacting to your aids.  In this video Trudy has taken Melody to a new level of connection as soon as she could.  Now, Trudy is asking Melody to soften her jaw to the rein influence and to step up into that connection from behind (as a result of Trudy asking her to step up) You will also see how we add leg yields and curves to help a horse understand how to stay on the outside rein and leg.

What do you do when you warm up your horse?  Do you have a plan? Have you ever tried connecting with them sooner to see how they might respond?  

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cantering in connection. The magic of curves and circles. S4 equestrian

"Now you can improve your horses canter with curves and circles"

Are you ready to ask your horse to stay in a better balance and to be more connected in the canter?  If this is you than you will love this Horse and Rider Awareness technique.  Trudy has asked Ani to stay connected at the canter, instead of letting her do a green horse canter, for less than 12 sessions at the time of this filming. Now you can watch what happens as they Trudy ads more turns and circles.  

Are you ready to see how balanced your horse is at the canter?  Try this exercise and let us know how it works for you. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Riders Position. Where should I position my shoulders? S4 Riding instr...

"It's all about your riding position.  Where should your upper body be. What if there was a simple technique you could use today to create a more effective riding position?"

On this day Trudy asked me to focus on what she is doing with her shoulders so that her riding position can be more effective.  In this session we add a simple technique that helped Trudy keep her weight where it belongs in the saddle by becoming more aware of what she is doing with her shoulders at all of the gaits. 

This week, practice this Horse and Rider Awareness technique and tell us how positioning what you are doing with your upper body makes a difference in your riding and training.  We love to hear your feedback! 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

1st level 3. Susan and Beau Sept 6 TIEC 68.5%

Show results. Congratulations Susan and her "boys" who competed this weekend at the Tryon International Equestrian Center Dressage. Now on to the Regionals!"

We had another adventure as Susan and her horses continue their winning ways at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, our last show before the Regional Dressage Championships. As always, we enjoyed spending time with old friends and meeting new ones. This video is of Susan and Beau riding under "S" judge Linda Zang. Linda is known as being a "tough judge" and so we expected to not do so well when Beau stopped twice during the test. (who knows why....) Imagine our surprise to be awarded a score of 68% + by her! Susan also competed her FEI horse, Darrien and scored a 64% with judge Maryal Barnet "S" Judge. Out next show with be the Regional Championships in Conyers (Atlanta) where Susan will be competing Beau (Mission Point) in the 1st level 3 and 2nd level 3 Championship classes.. She will also be showing Darrien in the Prix St George and Intermediate 1 Championship Classes. Susan has done an amazing job this year with both of the "boys" and continues to inspire people everywhere with her journey with them.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Warming up with the Steps to Connection. S4 Riding instruction

What if... you could finally understand what is meant by warming a horse up in connection?  Is this even possible?  Watch what Trudy does with Ani in this warm up at the walk"

Try this as you are riding your horse this week.  When you warm up, test your skills and how your horse is listening to your aids by asking them to connect with you as soon as you start riding.  This may be new to you or your horse (as it is with Ani) but as you can see,  Trudy was able to do it this day.  We continue with this series in the walk and canter work so you can see how this might work for your horse or students.  

This was a big change for Ani as in the past Trudy would spend most of the warm up on a long or loose rein.  Now they are moving up a level and playing with the concept of connecting sooner.  Have you tried this yet?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Adjusting your horses balance and connection with Cavaletti #2 S4 Ridin...

"Wow! Breakthrough session. It has been a while since we have used Cavalletti (ground poles) with Susan's horses. Watch the amazing changes that happen with Beau in this session!"

It is always good to keep changing what we are doing with the training process.  This makes everything more interesting for both the horse and the rider.  On this day, when I asked Susan what she wanted to focus on she said "adjustablity"  As soon as she said that I knew what we needed to do.  Cavalletti and ground poles. If you decide this is for you (just say yes)  you are going to feel like you cannot ride at first.  You will probably not be able to keep the rein connection at all as you will discover your hands have not been as steady as you thought.  You might also find that it is very hard to keep your horse "under your seat" and connected.  That is what makes this technique so amazing as it will help you to fill in some of the "missing links" of what you are doing in your riding.  Now you can watch the amazing changes that happen as Susan rides Beau through the poles.  Their balance and connection go to a new level!  Yippee! Of course, Susan makes this look easier than it is.  

Have you used ground poles or cavalletti in your training program yet?  Can you see the changes that happened with Susan and Beau?

Welcome to Randi Thompson Live. Randi has been in the horse industry for 40 years and has been teaching riding instructors, clinicians, trainers and riders easy, safe and fun techniques to connect them with their students Her Horse and Rider Awareness® techniques have been tested on 1000's of students and horses of all styles of riding and breeds of horse world. Randi has been featured as the keynote speaker at the largest equestrian trade shows in the US as well as speaking for events outside the horse world.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Adjusting your horses balance and connection with ground poles and Cavaletti #1

"Would like your horse to be more "adjustable?" Watch what happens when Susan challenges Beau to stay connected while going over cavaletti . They move to a new level!"

When I asked Susan what she wanted to work on she said "adjustability" That is a term that horse people use to explain when a horse is "on the aids/on the bit/in front of the aids, round, packaged. Now you can watch Susan and Beau focus on ways to keep adjustable as they add cavaletti. Stay tuned for Part #2. I will share it tomorrow. At first I was not going to share this 2 part film series because of the filming. The camera is looking all over at times... However, after reviewing them I can see that that there is so much great information. By the end of Part #2 Susan and Beau move to a new level and I was able to film that process for you to see.

Is your horse "adjustable?" Have you tried adding cavaletti i to your training program? Tell us how they work for you.