Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weekly Exercise #6


What did you think of the little trot transitions? Did you notice a softening in your horse and his way of going?

Dressage taxes the horse's pelvis. Walking over ground poles encourages a gentle rocking motion that loosens the lumbar sacral area of the horse.

Walking ground poles:

Set up 2 sets of 4 poles, 8 poles total, along opposite long sides of your arena. The individual poles should be about 2 feet apart. One set should be flat on the ground and the second set can be raised 6 inches.

To ride this exercise begin in a marching working walk. Do several walk-halt transitions to establish a connection to your hand. Your horse should stretch over the topline and make steady contact through the transitions.

Walk directly through the center of the ground poles and go over the poles several times in each direction.

Most horses will lean or drift to one side. Aim to keep your horse straight and in the middle of the poles, watch her shoulders!

Sit up straight and stay deep in the saddle. Leaning forward does not make the exercise easier for the horse!

Happy riding! -Erin

Do dressage outside! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weekly Exercise #5

Whoa!! Time got away from me! It's already Wednesday and I owe you a weekly exercise so without further adieu...

As the horse becomes looser his gaits become more expresive. This week we will focus on loosening and softening the horse.

The little trot transition:

Small transitions made often will have a softening effect on the horse's body. To ride this exercise start at the walk on the rail. Go large (continue on the rail around the entire arena), after 10-12 strides of active walk ask for a slow trot. Trot for only 4-5 strides then ask for the walk. Execute these small transitions numerous times and in both directions.

Be comfortable with a small slow trot, don't push your horse. Do this exercise for 10-15 minutes. You want to feel your horse soften and make very smooth transitions between the gaits.

Happy riding! - Erin