The Free Walk

Free Walk

What is the free walk? The free walk is a gait of relaxation. What should it look like? * Your horse should lengthen his … [Read more...]

Keep Fear in Perspective

Recognize that fear is future thinking. So you can learn how to manage your fear by staying in the moment. To bring yourself back to … [Read more...]

What Do Medium Trot and Canter Feel Like?

Here’s what you should feel in a medium trot and canter: 1. The SAME tempo as collection. (Although it might "feel" slower than the collected gaits because the strides are longer.) Try counting it out loud. 2. An uphill balance like an airplane taking off. The success of your medium gait totally depends on how much you collect and engage the hind legs on the short side. So give connecting aids and keep them on for most of the short side. Then just soften your hands a bit forward when you start the medium. During the connecting aids, you're coiling the spring of the hind legs and getting your horse "bubbling over" with compressed energy so he can express that power over the ground in the medium. To apply connecting aids, close both calves as if asking for a lengthening. Close your outside hand to recycle that power. Vibrate the inside rein to keep the neck straight. The connecting aids can last for a couple of seconds or even for the entire short side. If your horse goes wide behind in the trot, it shows a lack of engagement. Use a long set of connecting aids and also as an exercise, do the following: Ride a few steps of shoulder-in. Then do a few strides of medium. Then collect the trot after the medium by stepping back into shoulder-in. The shoulder-in engages the hind legs. Stepping into shoulder-in BEFORE he gets wide behind teaches him to keep the hind legs stepping under and not start pushing backwards. Stepping into shoulder-in to collect AFTER the medium insures that you don’t rely too much on your hands, which would stop the hind legs.

Here’s what you should feel in a medium trot and canter: The SAME tempo as collection. (Although it might "feel" slower than the … [Read more...]

Help Your Stiff Horse Bend

(Photo by Mary Phelps) Does your horse find it difficult to bend in one direction? You can help your stiff horse bend better by using … [Read more...]

Note From Jane – April 2017

Check this out! I can't wait to spend the week with you learning and playing on a Caribbean cruise! We’ll have a blast! For more … [Read more...]

Learn The Training Scale

As a general rule for all of your training sessions, you want to school according to the training scale. You can go to 10 different … [Read more...]

Use Leg Yielding to Help Pick Up the Correct Canter Lead

Somewhere in most horses’ training, usually when they are still green, they have trouble picking up one or both canter leads. If that … [Read more...]

Keep Your Horse on the Bit Through Walk to Trot Transitions

To keep your horse on the bit I walk to trot transitions (or any transition, for that matter), first teach him the connecting aids in … [Read more...]

How To Ride Corners

No matter what level you’re doing, you have to ride corners. The general rule for riding corners is that you don’t have to go any … [Read more...]

How To Discourage Pulling

Does your horse yank you out of the saddle every few strides? If you find that happening in the walk and canter, first make sure … [Read more...]