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Dressage

Dressage rider at a schooling show

Fixing Falling In

Circle too small, horse falling off the rail, rider cutting corner, horse weaving down the centerline ... Do these judge’s comments seem familiar? They do to many riders; and like many riders I’ve had them on my own score...
Did you know that the word "dressage” comes from a French word that means "to train”? Every time you sit on a horse and school him on the flat, you are doing dressage. Doing flatwork may seem boring at...
For many riders the days of learning to post the trot are relics of the past. The hours spent listening to our instructors shouting "up down, up down" (as if that made it any easier) are over. Our time...
A half-halt isn't: pulling the reins. To start out, riding instructors often teach beginners very simplistic aids to take the place of certain skills until the rider's balance and body control improves. This is particularly true of the half-halt....
Riding in the arena

Don’t Cut Corners

Riding in an arena would be a lot easier if, once the aids had been given for the required gait, the horse simply responded by keeping one eye on the fence and merrily found his own way around. But...

Longeing Safely

Don’t forget your safety sense when longeing. The following guidelines will help keep you safe. Equipment: A cotton longeline, rather than synthetic, will stop rope burns.  A broken...
Haunches-in (or travers) is the most advanced way to teach your horse inside bend. For a correct haunches-in, your horse must move with his front legs and shoulders on the track and his haunches off the track. It isn’t...
You ride into the arena and look around you, taking in all the beautiful western pleasure horses groomed and saddled to perfection. Suddenly, you see yourself in the reflection of the arena windows. You are sitting on your beautiful...
Jenny knew she was pretty lucky to be able to school her young chestnut gelding during the winter months in a warm covered arena. "Good thing, too," she muttered to Finnegan as she swung into her well-broken-in close-contact saddle....
Stiffness in the saddle is one of the biggest hidden handicaps to good riding — not the obvious stiffness that shows itself through muscular pains in the neck, arms or legs, but rather an underlying tension that...
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