Moving the front end of your horse is the last exercise I strongly advise to practice in order to ride a safe and reliable horse. As mentioned earlier in the groundwork phase, controlling independently the hind quarters from the front quarters helps the horse to feel comfortable in the maneuvers we will require from it.
Category : Exercises
There are two types of serpentines: short and long. Short serpentines have undoubtedly an important role in helping the horse to find its balance and to improve softness. Yet, the serpentines are, on my mind, much more important in building the relationship.
Short serpentines will teach the riders to feel their horses, to consider them as a part of their body. Long serpentines will teach the horses to feel their riders, to consider them as part of their mind…
Walk, trot and canter are very natural moves to the horse. So, the objective of this page is not to teach the moves, but to teach when, at what speed and how we want the horse to perform the moves.
I will deal only with basic things here: rhythm, soft feel, leads, simple and flying changes will be the object of further exercises.
The very first time I read about untracking the hindquarters, I just could not understand why I should bother to do it, for what purpose? … One word: EDUCATION!
That exercise is just great for several reasons: pure mechanical reasons obviously, softness and lightness, leadership and to teach your horse to think. You may compare this exercise to teaching a kid how to draw a circle and a stick, in order to write letters. Later, these will become sentences, that will make pages and books, etc. So, do not miss the basics!
The Soft-Feel is more than an exercise, it should become a habit whenever you ride, like a reflex. This is the key to help your horse to get soft, light and all in one hand! That Soft-Feel is the first step to collection, which is the body position that is looked for in Dressage, Academical, Military and many other types of riding…
The Seat-Stop exercise is the first of a series dedicated to help riders get control of their horses on one hand, and to help horses feel good about their riders on the other hand. Seat-Stop consists of teaching a horse to stop as soon as it feels our shifting of position on the saddle. We will use the one-rein stop to do so.
Rope leading is not an exercise on its own, as you lead your horse everyday from the pasture to the paddock, from the stall to the arena, from the trailer to the track, etc. Yet, leading a horse implies that the horseman or horsewoman is in charge and the horse follows the pace. The following explains how to teach your horse to respect your leadership in all circumstances.
Exercises: Groundwork – Fence / video
The fence exercise consists in teaching your horse to pick you up from a fence or from a mounting stool for instance. Interest is obvious for those who mount high horses, as for those who start problem horses that would be difficult to mount from the ground. This is actually useful for all horses as it will help to build confidence and partnership between horses and riders.
Exercises: Groundwork – Sending / video
Sending a horse is one of the most useful exercises we can perform from the ground. Indeed, every day we are confronted to situations where pointing a direction and feeling our horse respond at once and without any fear or hesitation would be of great convenience: walking through a gate, getting out of the stall, loading into the trailer, and so on. This exercise is designed to teach a horse to move on a feel, trusting our decision and judgment.
The Half Circle exercise is a continuation of the Full Circle. It is strongly recommended to blend both exercises as soon as you master them both. Actually, it is only one exercise cut in two parts so we can learn it _ horses do not need this to understand and perform. The purpose of this exercise is to improve the mobility of the horse, its capacity to move the hind end from the front end separately.