Tag: riding exercises

  • “Tell Him He Can Run Away”—A Cure for the Horse That Shies

    “Tell Him He Can Run Away”—A Cure for the Horse That Shies

    Wouldn’t it be cool if every horse made a New Year’s Resolution not to shy at silly, innocuous, or invisible things in 2019? Alas, I think we all know that isn’t likely, so best case scenario is we riders resolve to do better by our horses when the shy does happen. The late Walter Zettl […]

  • The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Look Down While Riding

    The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Look Down While Riding

    We’ve all heard it over the years: “Don’t look down!” And maybe, “You look at the ground and that’s where you’ll end up!” The real reason we shouldn’t look down while we’re riding doesn’t have as much to do with running into things or falling off as it does with the horse’s ability to perform. […]

  • Two Easy Exercises to Make the Rider’s Hands More Sensitive and Effective

    Two Easy Exercises to Make the Rider’s Hands More Sensitive and Effective

    “That rider has good hands.” The comment might mean little to those outside the equestrian realm, but within it, we understand it as a compliment. And one of the highest order. As young riders, we try our darnedest for a somewhat light connection with the school horses and tough little ponies we likely learn on. […]

  • Stretch Your Neck to Ride Better

    Stretch Your Neck to Ride Better

      Many riders have neck and shoulder tension, which derives from the body’s reaction of “turning on” the trapezius muscle (see illustration above) in their daily lives. When there is a neuromuscular “highway” to an unproductive area such as the trapezius, there will be an almost automatic physical reaction, collecting tension in that area, regardless […]

  • Let’s Dance! This Arena Exercise for Horses Rocks

    Let’s Dance! This Arena Exercise for Horses Rocks

    When the circles seem to never (ever…ever) end and your horse starts spooking at his own pile of manure just for something different to do, it’s time to liven up your schooling sessions. There are many ways to make training more engaging, including imaginative uses of lateral work, props like ground poles and cones, and […]

  • Get Engaged! How Any Horse Can Develop Beautiful, Balanced Forward Motion

    Get Engaged! How Any Horse Can Develop Beautiful, Balanced Forward Motion

    The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) defines engagement as “increased flexion of the lumbosacral joint and the joints of the hind leg during the weight-bearing (stance) phase of the movement, thus lowering the croup relative to the forehand (‘lightening the forehand’).” Engagement is a prerequisite to impulsion (thrust): the “releasing of the energy stored by […]

  • Walk This Way! 3 Common Gait Problems and Their Solutions

    Walk This Way! 3 Common Gait Problems and Their Solutions

    Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg was accepted as a student at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna in 1960 and rose rapidly under the tutelage of Colonel Alois Podhajsky to become the youngest ever First Chief Rider in the history of the school. Internationally respected, Kottas has successfully trained many horses and riders to Olympic standard in dressage. […]

  • Sit on Your Hands to Ride Better

    Sit on Your Hands to Ride Better

    We all want to communicate with our horses in ways they can understand. When riding, that communication is dependent on our aids. What we might not realize is just knowing what the aids are and in what order to apply them isn’t enough to “speak” clearly to your horse. It is important sit centered, straight, […]

  • Persuading Your Horse’s Inside Hind to Take Weight: A Cavalletti Exercise with Olympian Ingrid Klimke

    Who doesn’t get bored going in circles? Olympic Equestrian and TSB author Ingrid Klimke says that riding over cavalletti on circles and half-circles can be a welcome change, not only improving the rider’s seat so it is more secure and balanced, but developing “feel,” as well. And there are many benefits for the horse. “Cavalletti […]

  • From Struggling to Sit the Trot to USDF Silver—Here’s How

    A lot of things can happen in 10 years of riding. Common goals shared by most riders are to have improved their seat; advanced the training of their horses while maintaining soundness; and nurtured connection and communication with their equine partners—that is, find harmony. There was a time Janice Dulak couldn’t sit a trot. She […]