Friday, January 30, 2015

Hang on tight! Taking back control on a windy, crazy day. Riding instr...

"What do you do when its a wild and crazy day and your horse does not want to listen? It's time to take back your control!" This is the reality of riding. Sometimes our horses do not want to "participate" as much as we would like them to do. This process may not look pretty at times, but a rider needs to know what they can and should do to when a horse goes into this mode. Not only was it a cold and windy day, but for some reason, the cars and motorcycles that were on the road next to Trudy's must have thought it was race day!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

If you are like most riders... Your saddle will slip to one side of the horse. Now you can fix it yourself!

"If you are like most riders... Your saddle will slip to one side of the horses withers as you are riding. Why is your saddle always slipping to one side and what can you do about it?

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? Check out the tips in this article today.

How you can finally stop your saddle from shifting

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is your horse on the inside hind? Camille and Polo #4

This is our young rider, Camille Beatty and Marco Polo.  They are starting to compete in dressage.  Now you can watch their progress from the beginning.

In this video we have Camille focus on if Polo is on his inside hind for the halt and circles.  To do this, we have her look first.  This helps here to get a feeling of where he is really stepping underneath her inside seatbone or not.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Everyone talks about riding a horse from their seat and legs, but what d...

This is Trudy Adams on Melody. Melody has a complicated past and find it difficult to connect with a rider or stay in balance (this is from S3 2013)  In this session we focused

 on the trot so that Trudy can become aware of  if Ani is "under her seat" while she is trotting. That is when Trudy is riding her from her seat and legs. To do this I ask Trudy to bring Ani's shoulders in when ever she feels her leaning on the reins or disconnecting. Next, we add the feeling of the leg yield to the circles so that Trudy has more control of Ani's hind legs. As a result, Ani's movement changes. Watch how Melody changes as Trudy becomes more aware of when she is connected to her seat and legs.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Riding Position. What are your thighs doing at the canter? S4 horses eq...

"Are you ready to improve your riding position? Now you can see what happens with Trudy as we isolate if she is keeping her thighs on at the canter"

It is so exciting to see our horses go to a new level!  Trudy is now asking Ani to stay more connected and in a better balance at the canter.  In the past, Ani has cantered like a "green horse" where as long as she went where we wanted her to go... we let her pick her speed and balance.  Now the time has come for Trudy to shorten the length of her reins and ask Ani to stay "on that contact".  This contact is really coming from Trudy using her leg aids to keep Ani connected to the reins.  As you will see, this is a big change for any horse and rider.  I am thrilled to have captured this part of the training process as it shows what will probably happen when a horse goes to this next level.

What did you learn from watching what Trudy is doing with Ani?  Is your horse ready for the next level?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oh, my burning thighs. Are you using your thighs as you are riding? Now improve your seat and the influence you have over your horses's shoulders.

"Oh... my burning thighs! Are your thighs on while you are riding? Watch what happens as Trudy works on hers"

We seem to always be changing our riding positions. That is a good thing! As our horses get more balanced and connected this is easier for us to do. In this session you will see how adding her thighs changes both Trudy's riding position and how Ani connects with her!

Now it's your turn. Today when you ride, check to see if your thighs are "flapping" or staying on the saddle. Tell us what you discovered! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Trots. Connecting the back end to the front. The beginnings of "on the a...

"Moving to a new level of connection and balance. What
do you mean if have to shorten my reins and ask her to step up into that

In this session you will see how Trudy is balancing Ani at
the trot. This balance is new for Ani and these videos show the progress of a
horse moving from a training level balance to more of a 1st level. Ani is not
thrilled as Trudy has been riding her on a longer, looser rein. 
Once a horse (ridden in balance) is ready for the next step
in training it is time for the rider to take up more of a feel of the reins and
ask the horse to step up more from behind so it lifts its back and begins
"round up" or "go on the aids" It is a big step as the
horse needs to learn how to be submissive to the "frame" that we
create for it to balance.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Canter trots on a spooky day. Taking back control. S4 dressage instructor

"It's a windy crazy day.  The horses do not want to stay connected and are acting up. It's time to take back control with patterns and transitions"

This is Trudy on Melody and Susan on Beau. In this session we focus on the canter trots and control as it was a wild and crazy day.  Both horses were bouncing all over the place and you will see part of what they did in this video.

Even with the wind blowing and cars speeding by... both riders were able to bring their horses back to control.  Most of the time. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shoulder in into half pass. On the aids in a new balance with both hors...

"It was a wild, windy, day that is for sure. Even so, our riders continue to connect with their horses at new levels of balance"
In this session we are using the basics of shoulder in and a few steps of half pass to connect our riders. Those who have been watching Trudy and Melody and Susan and Beau have seen big changes this past month. Beau now looks like he is a 2nd level dressage horse and Melody is actually staying connected and somewhat round most of the time! What a great start for Season 4.
Has watching the progress of these horses and riders made a difference in what you are doing with your horse?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Haunches in (travers/renvers) Windy, spooky day. Can you stay connected?...

"How can you use haunches in to improve your horses balance?  It's easy!  Just do them especially if it is a windy day and the horses are spooking and acting up"

What a start to Season 4.  It was a windy day and the horses were bouncing off the walls.  To keep them connected the riders had no option other than to take more control of their horses attention.  To do this we rode many different exercises with the goal of keeping the horses focused even with all the crazy stuff going on outside the ring. Even with all the excitement, both Trudy on Ani and Susan on Beau took their horses to a new level of connection.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Start of the Medium Trot! Susan and Beau. Dressage training

"Those who ride and compete in dressage know... what a challenge it can be to develop their "medium" gaits" Now you can watch what happens as Susan is able to keep Beau in balance for his medium trot. This is the longest he has been able to hold it!"

Of course, Susan and I are thrilled. This is such a big step for Beau. It is for anyone and I am so thankful to have had the camera on to show you what is happening. You have watched Beau from his beginning days and can now see his balance has really changed with the move up to 2nd level. This is a very short video from the end of the first session from Season 4. 

Can you see the difference in Beau?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Outside Rein and Leg. Can you hold it on a circle? Walk halt. #1 Dress...

"Can You Keep Your Horse on the Outside Rein and Leg On a Circle?" 

This is our new series. Is your horse on the outside rein and leg? We start the warm up with asking Trudy to keep Ani on a 20 meter circle. To see if she is using her outside leg and rein, Trudy has to let go on the inside rein! Not as easy as it sounds. 
This series continues with Ani and Trudy's other horse Melody. You will see amazing changes happen with Trudy and her horse's in front of your eyes.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Canter trot transitions and balance. Watch a Training level and 4th leve...

"Have you always wanted to  see the difference between a training level horse and a 4th level horse?   Watch what happens as we practice the canter trot transitions. Another oldie but goodie from Season 2"

It is fun to look back and see how much our riders and horses have changed. This is when Susan first brought Darrien home. She is riding with Trudy Adams and Ani.
Can you see the changes since than?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Trot. Who says you can't teach an old horse new tricks? Darrien's back ...

"Trot. How many times have you heard someone say, "Who You can't teach an old horse new tricks?  Guess what?  Darrien is starting to lift his back!"

We have been going "Back to the Basics" with our horses these past 5 weeks. In this session Susan asks Darrien, her new horse, to keep his back up as she balanced him between her legs and the reins. (Before this week Susan was riding him on a longer rein and simply following his head movement where ever it was) Darrien is not thrilled as this is when his past issues with connecting come up. He has a big trot and most riders in his past probably could not ride it. In fact, he was being ridden in side reins. You will see Darrien trying to take the reins from as she asks him to connect more from the back to the front. A few months ago, even in a double bridle (we put him back into a snaffle) he would "root" pulling Susan out of the saddle, rear and run. We are happy with the changes he has made since than. Now, we are getting ready to start competing again in a few weeks and are Susan is asking Darrien to balance more so that he back is up all of the time. In the next session we go into the canter and had amazing results!

Outside rein and leg What is that?

The term, outside leg and rein confuse many riders.  Now you can see how I teach these riders to be more aware of how it can make a difference.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Canter Trot Transitions. Adding the Shoulder In and Leg Yields for bett...

"Would you like new ways to improve your Canter Trot Transitions?.  Try adding the feelings of the shoulder in and leg yield"

In this session (Season 2) Susan focuses on getting Beau more balanced in his canter trot transitions. At that time, Beau had a tendency to flip his head up, and drop his back in the canter trot transitions both up and down. To help Beau balance better in the canter and transitions in and out of it we add the feeling of the ahoulder in and leg yields to get him connected.
Can you see how Beau's transitions begin to change as Susan prepares him in different ways to see how to get the response she is looking for? Can you see how this could help your horse?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Canters/Counter Canter. Is your horse in balance? S3 dressage instructor

"Would you like to improve your canter?  It's time to try the Counter Canter"

A counter canter is simply the horse being on the opposite lead.  Traditionally, we keep a horse on the inside lead for most canter work. Counter canters are used in many show rings including dressage, hunt seat equitation and for western horsemanship. In this session we focus on the dressage counter canter for 1st level.  The horses are required to stay on that canter as it is ridden through different curves that progressively get more difficult. Watch as Susan focuses on keeping Beau in a better balance as they work on the counter canter. 

How do you know if your horse is in balance when you horse canters?  

Trudy and Ani Turn on the forehand into leg yield. Dressage

"It's time to connect laterally!  Would you like a great exercise that will connect you and your horse? Try the turn on the forehand into a leg yield."

This is one of my favorite exercises for both a horse and rider. By asking the rider to focus on what their horse is doing, they become more aware of how their riding position can be used to communicate to a horse. Meanwhile, the horse become more sensitive to the riders aids and as a result, is easy to balance both mentally and physically.
Have you tried this exercise yet? Can you see the difference it is making for Trudy and Ani?

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Rising trot. Improve yours today! S3 Dressage Instructor

"What is really happening to your riding position at the posting trot? Are you moving with the horse or bouncing all over the place?" 

The rising/posting trot is a common challenge for many riders. Finding the right riding position takes a lot of practice. Once the rider "gets it" they find that their horses trot also improves. The issues that most riders have include: standing on their toes (instead of sinking into their heals) and posting faster than the horse is trotting. Now, you can watch what I do with Camille to help her become aware of what she is doing in the rising trot.

Have you noticed what you are doing at the rising trot with your riding position? Try the rider awareness exercises that I share in this video and tell us what you discover about what you have been doing at the rising trot.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Trot. Renvers (haunches in). Getting more stretch. Back to the basics. S...

"Have you tried to do a haunches in or out with your horse? At first, you will find that they are not sure what to do with their feet. With practice, they will start taking longer steps and you will find that the haunches in or out will improve your horse's balance and connection with you in ways you might not have imagined!"

This is week 4 of taking Beau "back to the basics". We are focused on the haunches in (renvers) Susan is riding him with a long, following rein and is asking him to step up into that connection. Beau has never really been excited about lateral work and is now becoming more comfortable with it. In the beginning of this session you will see that he take short steps and loses his connection. As the ride continues, he starts taking longer steps. Watch how much Beau's trot improves! 

Are you using the haunches in yet on your horse? What do you find is happening? 

Leg position. What are your legs doing in the transitions? S1 Dressage

"Do you know that what you do with your lower leg can make a difference in how your horse is able to ride the transitions?"

This is from Season 1. I had asked Trudy what she wanted to focus on, and she said that Ani tended to throw her nose up in the air and disconnect in the transitions. When this happens to riders, it is usually because the rider has disconnected in the transitions. This usually starts in the lower leg. It is easy to see as their heels are higher than their toes. Now you can follow Trudy as she focuses on staying anchored through her lower leg for her transitions in this series.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Are your walk trot transitions smooth or rough? How does your riding po...

"When you ask your horse to change gaits, are the transitions rough or smooth? Would you like to see how you can use your riding position to make them smoother?"

In this video Trudy is focusing on the walk/trot transitions. Like many riders, she has a tendency to disconnect from her riding position as she practices them. Now you can watch what I did with Trudy that made a difference in the quality and smoothness of the changes of gait with Ani.  

What changes can you see in Trudy's riding position as she focuses more on it. What about Ani?  Did her changes or gait improve?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Trot. Does your horse respond to your aids? How do you know? S3 Dressa...

"Is your horse saying Yes, No, or Maybe... to your aids?  How do you know?"

Now you can watch what I do with Trudy as she focuses on if Melody is responding to her aids or not. This is new to Melody and is what happens to horses that are moving up into a new level of balance and connection. Instead of simply going along on a loose rein Trudy is now asking Melody to stay connected. I was thrilled to have been able to be there to film this part of the training process as many people never see it.  In this session Trudy also continues "riding the shoulders" which really made a difference in how Melody is trotting.

What did you see happening?  Are you going to try this on your horse?  Let us know how it works for you.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dressage. Turn on the haunches into walk pirouettes. Focusing on the bas...

"Have you tried riding the dressage turn on the haunches and walk pirouette?"

There is a difference. In dressage, we want the horses to keep moving forward and to stay in the same rhythm in either of them. The trick is to keep the horse relaxed, in balance and walking with even strides as we ride these movements. Now, you can watch the process I use to help Susan focus even more on the basics of the walk pirouettes and turns around the haunches. 

What did you learn about these movements from this video? Have you tried to ride the turn on the haunches or walk pirouette yet?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Walk. Going to a new level of balance and connection for the first time!...

"The Great Mystery. You hear it... other horse people talk about "getting a horse on the aids" but what does it really mean? Would you like to see what happens when a horse and rider feel it for the first time?"

Getting a horse "on the aids" is also called connecting, rounding up, packing, engaging. What ever you call it, it is an amazing feeling when it happens. Of course first, you need to feel what it feels like. In this video you will see Trudy and Melody connecting at a new level. Since this connection and balance are new to both of them, they will find it and lose it many times before it becomes a habit. This was such a huge break through for Melody as she has always been such a tense horse. I was lucky to film this part of the training process as most people never see it happen. Now you can!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

"Trot. Break through! Riding the horse's shoulders. S3 Shoulder In Dr...

Trot break through.  Riding the shoulders!  Would you like to see what happens with a horse that is moving up from a green horse into more of a training level balance at the trot?  Now you can see it happen right here!" feels like our horses might never get to that magical place of being on the aids. (also called connected, round, packaged, engaged, on the aids, in front of the aids...)  To get a horse on the aids it is easiest to start with controlling one end of the horse first. The front of the back.  In this video you will see how I show Trudy how to "ride" Ani's shoulders with circles and shoulder in's. As a result, Ani connects to Trudy in a different balance. Most people never see a horse go through this balance change...  enjoy!

Friday, January 2, 2015

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

"Would you like to know the secret to balancing a horse between your aids?  Let's begin with the front of the horse.  Where are your horses shoulders....and what do you need to do to keep them in between your  "Hallway of aids?"

This was another break through session.  Watch what happens as Trudy become aware of how to keep Ani's shoulders where she wants them to be and between her rein and leg aids. As a result, their balance and connection moved to a new level!  

Could you see the change that happened when Trudy starting riding Ani's shoulders more?   Stay tuned for the trot tomorrow.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

"Breaking down the leg yield. Keeping in balance with longer steps. S3 D...

"Does your horse seem to wiggle all over when it is trying to do a leg yield?  You are not alone and in fact, this is how most horses and riders first start learning how to do them.  Would you like to see a rider and horse connect and start going straight for the first time in the leg yields?  Watch this!"

Do you feel at times that your horse will never understand how to do a balanced leg yield? You are not alone.  In this session you will see what happens when Trudy and Ani start connecting for the first time in the leg yield at the walk and trot. This was a break through session that brought them both to a  new level with their leg yields. 

Could you see when Ani started connecting more with Trudy while practicing the leg yields?  Are you ready to try this on your horse?