Although I divide these exercises into three groups—for hands, legs and seat—keep in mind that your aids are always interrelated.
Carrot Totin' Beginners Welcome . . . . . .
Each one works best if you use it in coordination with the others. When doing these exercises, ask a ground person to help identify your weaknesses and offer feedback. Or do them with another rider, taking turns observing each other and calling out instructions. Some of the exercises require an extremely steady, tolerant horse. Remember, horses are creatures of habit. Whenever you change how you apply an aid, it will take many repetitions for your horse to learn to respond properly to it. Just keep repeating the correct aids until he begins to associate them with the appropriate response.
Similarly, your own body will need plenty of repetition to develop the muscle memory and strength required to perform these new skills correctly.
Training – Easy J Sport Horses
Do each one for a certain amount of time or in a certain number of sets. One more general tip before we get started: Add more walk and canter to your training sessions. Most riders spend the majority of time at the trot. When people learn to ride, the natural tendency is to try to control everything with the hands.
The opposite is actually more effective: The less hand you use, the better the results. Here are some hand errors and exercises to fix them:. When a horse gestures with his head and neck moves it forward and back , if your hands freeze in place, they will pull on his mouth when he extends his head forward and create loops in the reins when his head comes back. Fix 1 : At the walk, separate your hands so they are about 1. Keeping a light, steady contact—not heavy pressure—concentrate on opening and closing your elbows to allow your hands to follow his mouth.
Think of the reins as rubber bands, trying not to let them droop down or snap in his mouth. Meanwhile, keep your legs on his sides to prevent him from slowing down or stopping. Then do the same thing at the trot and the canter. Focus on following that gesture with your hands, staying relaxed and elastic in your shoulders and elbows. Ask your ground person to watch the reins as you ride and let you know if they sag or snap.
When you go back to riding with your hands in the correct position 4—5 inches apart , remind yourself to continue following the motion with your arms. Problem : Clutchy or too-strong hands. Most horses react by leaning their weight onto the bit. And a 1,pound horse will win that pulling match every time.
Fix 2: To teach yourself to ride with more sympathetic hands, try holding your reins backward in your fists, the way people hold the reins of driving horses. Instead of threading the reins between your third and fourth fingers and up out of the tops of your fists, thread them first between your thumbs and forefingers, then down through your fists.
Try riding in all three gaits like this. Any excess hand movement can distract, confuse and hurt your horse. Fix 3 : Practice riding while holding a bat very short whip horizontally with one end pressed against the palm of each hand. Affix it there with tape or a bandage. Problem: Too-long reins. This prevents you from maintaining a consistent contact with your horse and thus creates gaps in your communication. Fix 6: Practice riding while holding a bit—something with rings but no shanks, such as a dee-ring or eggbutt snaffle—between your hands, with all of your fingers or just your pointer and middle finger wrapped around the rings.
Developing a stable, educated leg is key to rider progress. By fine-tuning the placement and timing of your leg aids and teaching your horse to respond more promptly to them, you can reduce the need to apply the aid as hard or as often—and can achieve more accurate, polished performances. See pages 46—47 for photos. Problem : Leg in front of or behind your body. Ideally, your leg should be positioned directly underneath your body.
If it swings backward, your upper body will fall forward. If your legs swing forward, your upper body will fall backward. With your upper body behind the motion, you also may unconsciously tell your horse to slow down. Your backwardtipped upper body may have the opposite effect if your seat is pushing into the saddle, too. To influence your horse effectively, you cannot allow your upper body to tip in front of or behind the motion. The following three fixes will help you stabilize your legs in the correct position while simultaneously improving your upper-body control.
I wish I found her sooner! Danica has a magic about her with the horses. They listen to her and all love her. I have had the best lessons of my life with Danica. She makes me feel like I am a success as a rider and I learn new things and progress every ride.
I feel elated at the end of my lessons and am high all week. Danica is a beautiful rider as well, she makes every horse she gets on look good. I always knew Beau has talent, I just need to find someone who would match his talent and know what to do with it. I am now able to truly feel the difference and able to achieve round, soft gorgeous transitions. Two years later my horse is happy, sound, and once again has found her beautiful gaits!!! When Danica first took Corteo into her care, his trot was so severely affected that he was developing the movement of a park horse and explosive canter departs.
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There are no words to thank Danica enough for returning him to soundness. What can I say, she delivers! Danica is a gifted instructor. She has a way of guiding the student to make the needed changes without the usual stress. She makes learning fun. Danica has an arsenal of creative exercises to help the rider achieve their goals with their horse. And she is good at communicating this to the rider. I came to Danica with my five-year-old mare after admitting that I needed some serious professional help to get my horse moving forward and through to start improving her gates for dressage.
Danica is knowledgeable, talented, and her training is correct, correct,correct! Danica also helped me to improve my seat and position to be a more effective and quiet rider. I use what I learned from Danica every day to become a better rider and to get the best from my horse.
Working with Danica has been one of the best experiences of my life. Danica is always bringing a positive attitude and a wealth of knowledge to the barn with her. One thing I love that Danica has done for me was getting me started in dressage. I have always been a jumper rider, but the benefits of learning both are totally apparent in my riding and with my horse!
I always use to have a problem with doing too much on my way down to a fence. The other day, after three months of dressage, I jumped my horse and I found that I no longer needed to do so much! Danica really does work miracles; with horses, with riders, and just in general. Anyone is lucky to have her as their trainer!
Danica possesses a rare combination of being highly professional and organized while being an exceptional, consistent and fair trainer.
I am not a trainer but I know enough about horse training to know the importance of a good start and how expensive and difficult re-training a horse can be. I wanted my gelding started with good basics I really feel that I invested in my horse and that I have added value to him through her excellent training.
My gelding was not an easy, natural athlete but because he got the right start with Danica he left his training a much more forward and athletic horse with a willing and happy attitude. He is now back at home and able to be ridden by both myself and my 12 year old daughter. We are so pleased that we want to continue his training as soon as Danica can fit him in! Thank you Danica!
She has taught me to listen to the horses. Each ride you can have a rough agenda, but then you need to listen and train to what the horse needs that day. Danica helped me become the rider I always wanted to be: light and effective with my aids, considerate to my horse, and balanced in the saddle.
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Better than anyone I've ever trained with before, she was able to help me both intuitively "feel" the concepts, while also understanding them intellectually. At the core of her teaching approach, Danica teaches her students to ride in response to the horse. She helps students develop the necessary feel to read and respond to what the horse is communicating, rather than mechanically responding to the dictations of an instructor.
Danica taught me how to achieve the results I did during lessons outside of lessons. Perhaps most importantly, Danica helped me bring joy back into my riding. With my last instructor, I had hit a dead-end; feeling frustration and exhaustion.
With Danica, from day one, I found myself able to relax my body and actually break a smile in the saddle again. Danica showed me that while riding is complex, it doesn't have to be complicated, and for that, I'll always thank her.
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She has a kind and patient way about her with both rider and horse. I have become a much better rider because of Danica. She has helped me fix my position which in turn effected the way my horses went.
The horses really prove by their way of going how correct Danica teaches. I would recommend her to anyone from beginner to advanced riders. The need for performance should not be systematic, you sometimes have to ask little of your horse, and simply enjoy the moment in order for your horse to be happy and not tired from work. Set objectives to reach On a similar note, you should set objectives to reach with your horse this year.
They can be achieving certain show results, mastering a new dressage, jumping a higher fence height, or simply doing more hacks, and improving your complicity by doing groundwork. These objectives must of course be realistic you should discuss them with your coach , and they should be gradual and fixed in time. They will allow you to stay motivated throughout the year, as you will always keep in mind the goals you want to reach, and to measure your performance. A small piece of advice: dividing each objective into sub-objectives is a good way to really see an evolution, which is more important than the result itself in our opinion.
Clean your tack regularly I think it is fair to say that cleaning tack is far from being the favorite task of riding enthusiasts. Unfortunately, if you want to have and maintain quality equipment that will last, it is a necessary step. In addition to cleaning and preserving your tack, it will allow you to check that everything is functioning fine and thus to avoid having a stirrup break, injuring the horse, etc. Storing your equipment in a clean and dry place, daily cleaning it with a sponge and glycerin soap, and thoroughly cleaning it disassembling it, using soap and then leather grease once to twice a week is recommended.
Taking the time to take care of your riding equipment is a small change to make that will have a big impact on their life span and incidentally on your bank account as well. Always ride with a helmet Security is a key aspect of horseback riding. Similarly, you should always warn someone when you go on a hack alone. These simple everyday gestures can prove to b very helpful… 6. Eliminate any potential danger But security does not end there, and as riders we must make sure to eliminate any potential danger in the environment of our horses.