Using ground poles effectively: A lesson remembered

About 20 years ago I was fortunate enough to take several lessons with the great horseman Ronnie Mutch. Obviously, he made a great impression on me because I can still play back those lessons in my mind. One of the real “light bulb” concepts that he introduced to me was how effectively you could use […]

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Lessons Remembered: Keeping your horse underneath you

It may seem rather obvious, but you want your horse to stay balanced under you when you ride. You don’t want to be behind the motion or listing to one side or the other. The good news is that your horse wants to stay under you and actually will do its best to help you […]

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Lessons remembered: Practise your jumping over ground poles

Developing your eye for jumping takes practice. But maybe you don’t always want to jump your horseĀ  — either your barn doesn’t allow jumping outside of lessons or your horse doesn’t need the extra pounding. Try jumping ground poles. It’s a lot harder than it looks! This is something we always did when there was […]

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Lessons remembered: Posting the Canter

Does your horse’s canter need better rhythm? Try posting! That’s right, posting to the canter can help your horse relax his back, open up his stride and regulate his speed, all without touching his mouth. I use it sometimes with Freedom to open up his stride without having him get quick. For the rider, posting […]

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Lessons Remembered: Riding a Rubber Band or a Super Ball

Recently I was listening to a trainer talk about how to prepare a horse for a jump. As she discussed the mechanics of the stride, it reminded me of a talk another trainer had given me several decades ago (let’s not get specific!). He asked me to imagine that my horse was made of rubber. […]

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Lessons Remembered: Differentiating forward from fast

Horse have their own rhythms. Run them off their feet and they look like a sewing machine. Ride them in the right tempo and you enhance their natural suspension. Years ago when I was trying to teach one of my horses to lengthen at the trot, my trainer gave me a technique that really helped […]

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Forget heels down. Think knees down!

On Friday I audited a Mary Wanless clinic. I’ve read her books and have taken a few lessons with someone who trains with her. Hearing her explain her theories and work with the riders made it all much clearer. For those readers not familiar with Wanless, she specializes in rider biomechanics, helping riders find the […]

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Lessons Remembered: Learning to Let Go

Freedom on alert

Not long after I got my Freedom I remember riding him in a lesson and feeling that he was going pretty well. He was hot but “packaged.” My trainer reminded me that if I was holding him together the entire time, I was losing the ability to communicate with him. She told me I had […]

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