July 2022

Biomechanics: What are they and why are they important?


Biomechanics. It sounds fancy and scientific. Trainers say they emphasize biomechanics in their training, but what do they mean? More than that, why should anyone care? Merriam-Webster defines biomechanics as "the mechanics of biological and especially muscular activity," also "the scientific study of this." But what does that mean in practice? For dressage riders and [...]

Biomechanics: What are they and why are they important?2022-07-11T19:35:52+00:00

April 2022

The Value of Patterns and How to Make the Most of Them


Dressage is full of patterns. At the least, we use test patterns for competition. Some instructors use patterns almost exclusively, while others use them sparingly. Yet many riders do not use them for a variety of reasons. The Old Masters have used patterns for centuries. Some patterns date back to the 13th century. There are [...]

The Value of Patterns and How to Make the Most of Them2023-07-18T17:48:22+00:00

November 2021

A Few Thoughts on No Stirrup November


'Tis the season for the November challenges, the most popular among riders being "No-Stirrup November." However, many professionals are now speaking out against this trend, citing the added pressure on the horses' backs. So is riding without stirrups so bad, or is it a good chance to develop a better seat? Developing the Seat Many [...]

A Few Thoughts on No Stirrup November2021-11-07T21:39:25+00:00

December 2020

Dressage and Gaited Horses


Dressage and Gaited Horses In the horse world, there are many divides that separate the disciplines. English and Western riding, dressage and hunter-jumper, driving and riding, etc. But one of the biggest divides is between gaited horses and "regular" horses. Most people who ride "normal" horses look at gaited horses as [...]

Dressage and Gaited Horses2020-12-14T22:23:47+00:00

October 2020

Mastering the Basics: the Rising Trot


"Rise and fall with the leg on the wall." Many riders who went through Pony Club learned this ditty for remembering their posting diagonals. But why does it matter which posting diagonal we use? There are plenty of riders who have no idea which diagonal they are on, and their horses seem happy. So what [...]

Mastering the Basics: the Rising Trot2022-02-20T20:07:01+00:00

Selecting and Fitting the Cavesson


The cavesson is an important tool for longeing and for the work in-hand. It offers clearer communication with the horse while sparing the mouth. However, many struggle with finding the right cavesson and adjusting it to the horse. So, to kick off a video series on the work in-hand, we're starting with a video on [...]

Selecting and Fitting the Cavesson2022-02-20T20:08:35+00:00

August 2020

The Importance of Longe Lessons


Most of us who've had a longe lesson did so when we were children. After all, it's a wonderful way of developing the rider's feel and balance without putting a lot of responsibility on the rider at the beginning. But for many, that's the extent of their experience with longe lessons. Once they are confident, [...]

The Importance of Longe Lessons2020-08-31T17:31:48+00:00

Practicality of Dressage


The last century has been a time of change for the horse's role with humanity. They went from being the backbone of society to being an object of hobby, sport, and even status. That's not to say horses don't still serve a purpose. Quite the opposite! During these times, they give us their healing presence [...]

Practicality of Dressage2020-10-19T19:56:21+00:00

Mastering the Basics: the Circle and How to Ride it Without an Arena


Circles, circles, circles... Dressage seems to be completely obsessed with the circle. Yet that is the figure that frustrates more riders than perhaps any other. Why is the circle so important? The main thing it does is develop the bend of the horse, stretching the tight side and strengthening the weak side. The inside hind [...]

Mastering the Basics: the Circle and How to Ride it Without an Arena2020-09-01T02:02:25+00:00

November 2019

What Makes a Good Dressage Rider?


It's not about finding the horse of your dreams, it's about being the person of your horse's dreams. -Dressage Instructors Is it long, slender limbs and a short torso? Is it natural talent with uncanny "feel" and athleticism? Does it take starting dressage at an early age to make for a good dressage rider? While [...]

What Makes a Good Dressage Rider?2019-12-23T22:03:42+00:00


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