When I train a horse, I want to guarantee a solid foundation.
Dressage is not so much about fancy movements. Rather, the focus in training is on the level of execution and the quality of the movement.
Beside suppleness, balance is an important factor when training a horse. A supple horse is able to perform the full range of motion without tense muscles restricting the movement. A balanced horse is less likely to lean on the bit, or hurry through it’s work. The horse will learn how to use his body more effectively which enables the longevity of joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
When I introduce a new movement to the horse, I make sure that it understands what I am asking. I don’t ask for too much to avoid frustrating the horse. My first step is to establish a level of communication with the horse, that allows me to improve the horse’s level of understanding.
Instead of forcing the horse to do something my way, I will look for the “why?”. Why does it seem to be hard for the horse to perform a certain movement? How can I help the horse work through the difficulty? I take the biomechanics into consideration as well as the saddle fit and health-related issues.
The conformation of the horse can make it easy or difficult for the horse to perform specific movements. My goal is always to make sure that the horse is set up for success and prepared for his job.
Every training session starts with a proper warm up, and ends with a cool down. Before riding a horse, the tack and health of the horse are checked.
Each training session is varied , and over the course of the training period, may consist of dressage, jumping and trail rides.