Riding Squares to Achieve Roundness

If you are like me, you have the phrase “inside leg to outside rein” drilled into your brain. Riders across disciplines are taught that our inside leg creates the bend or shape in the horse’s body, while the outside rein moderates this shape, ensuring the horse maintains straightness and doesn’t reach a degree of “over…

Figures for improving balance: circles of doom

I’ve been working hard on my horse’s balance and suppleness this winter, and I recently had an epiphany. You see, I never thought my 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding had a lot of “turn and burn” – the ability to turn on a dime that some horses seem naturally blessed with. But I was wrong. My coach helped…

Figures for improving balance: figure 8

I hope you enjoyed my last post on the bow-tie manoeuvre. Here’s another exercise you can use to help your horse find his own balance. I learned about this exercise on the Horse Listening blog, and I must warn you: it looks simple but it’s not easy. It’s a figure 8 with a trot-to-canter transition thrown in…

Figures for improving balance: bow tie

I normally train and compete for the hunter ring, but lately I find myself focusing more and more on dressage schooling. I’d like to attend a few competitions and try my hand at first level, so I’ve been developing my horse’s balance and suppleness. I’m lucky in that my horse has natural impulsion – he has a spring in his…