Blog


The Intersection of Body Work and Horse Training

At the Intersection of Horse Bodywork and Training I am admittedly lucky. My student Sandy Vreeburg is a Masterson Method instructor and practitioner. This means I not only have access to my preferred type of body work but I also get to trade notes with her about the horses we mutually work with. When this kind of melding occurs between trainer and practitioner, I would argue it is almost magic for the horse. In fact, I shudder a little when I look back decades ago when we trainers had to form our own best opinions about what might be going Read the full article…

Filed Under: Horse Training & Exercises, Horse Health & Fitness | Tags: , ,

Not Enough Time for Ground Poles? Think again.

Following the past several years of traveling around giving clinics in which I teach riders to use ground poles in their regular schooling,I have arrived at a fact: most riders quickly understand the gymnastic benefits of group poles, but they will not incorporate them on a consistent basis. It is not because they are rebelling against my advice but because poles can be a hassle to drag out and set up every day. Honestly, though, a decent ground pole lesson does not need to be elaborate or complicated. In many cases, you can even forego using bulky risers to elevate Read the full article…

Filed Under: Horse Training & Exercises, Western Dressage | Tags: , , ,

Cavesson: it’s all about connection

The Cavesson: it’s all about connection Too much of a good thing, taken to its excess, usually becomes less than ideal. Such is the case with lightness. Its pursuit, or its misinterpretation, often results in horses moving without sufficient tone throughout their bodies because riders or handlers have over emphasized the goal of loose reins. The condition of loose reins is not necessarily synonymous with a horse moving in lightness. Lightness is best defined as the equilibrium of looseness and positive tension in the horse’s body that allows him to move with flawless balance and coordination. It is always accompanied Read the full article…

Filed Under: Horse Training & Exercises | Tags: , ,

Muscles: Should you ride fast or slow?

Muscles: Shall we Ride Fast or Slow? Perhaps one of the most delightful aspects of riding is the way it steadies and focuses our human minds in those moments we sit astride. For myself, anyway, I savor the monastic contemplation of the first minutes of a ride as I consider what does this horse need? Every session originates from how I can improve the horse’s physical wellbeing, and this requires a good deal of paying attention. It also requires a decision: to ride fast or slow? Many of us ride at a speed WE prefer, or one that the horse Read the full article…

Filed Under: Horse Health & Fitness | Tags: , ,

Wobbling to Better Movement

(periods of instability can lead to better proprioception, even in Terriers!) Wobbling to Better Movement Out of necessity my horses have become lighter and balanced in their movement over the past two years since moving to a new facility. I say out of necessity because this facility, while ideal in almost every way, lacks an ideal arena. What this means is that we do our schooling in a variety of places: the field, a track, the small sand arena, trails. This variety, plus less than perfect surfaces translates to the horses needing to recruit their stabilizing and postural muscles more Read the full article…

Filed Under: Horse Health & Fitness | Tags: , ,