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  • Writer's pictureKristie Cotton

That's not Dressage...

I think that there is a certain " frame " that some have come to demand from their horse. The belief that the head needs to be in a position in order for the Dressage horse to look correct becomes a pressure to get the horse on the bit.. I chose this picture with this horse in particular because he needed to unlearn how he had been started.. He is a four year old that had been ridden in a head down " frame " There are certain habits that a horse who is ridden this way start to present in their training.

First being, they have no idea what forward means, to stay in front of the leg. Horses ridden this way are also oblivious to bending as well as any aids from the seat and leg. You cannot attain correctness in any true way if you are not riding the horse from behind, not pulling from the front.

I had to really get this guy moving so that he could realize what kind of engine is behind him. This picture is a great way to show a horse learning to be ridden forward to the hand. Since he had been trained " head down", he would lean on the bit so heavily which is a false feeling of "connection." You will miss out on Harmony and the true feeling of lightness and balance if you are not aware of riding the horse from behind to the bit, not pulling with reins while pushing with legs and seat.

Once you have ridden a horse in correct balance, you will never just pull a horse together. You will understand that the horse and rider need to be in a perfect balance to attain harmony.


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