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Now that I understand this, I feel a little ashamed

it right, she gets it

that I ‘punished’ my horse for my own failings. I

right and I get the

had a very long way to go as a rider before

result I want.

discovering that there is no place for anger in

want more she gives

dressage riding (or any riding for that matter) but

it me, but only if I ask

particularly dressage because you are asking your


horse to work in harmony with you, to do difficult

out of 10 if I don’t get

moves that are demanding and complex.

what I am asking for,

If I

9 times

it’s because I haven’t Are you sure that your side of the deal is being

asked correctly.


listening to my horse’s feedback has made us a

Are you sure that you are absolutely

perfect in your execution of your aids? If you are,

Stripping back my ego and

much improved partnership

that’s great, give your horse that extra tap of the whip when he isn’t giving as much as you. For me

As for reward, your horse can be rewarded with as

and for 99.9% of grassroots riders the answer to

little as a touch, a give with the rein, a kind word in

these questions would be no, because when I get

a low voice, a walk on a long rein, a gentle pat on the neck. Not a lot to ask for is it?

Then there are those horses that are labelled “difficult” or “lazy”. This is always the result of a breakdown




rider/handler and horse. The horse will sometimes resort to becoming awkward by shutting down to all the outside stimuli that are causing his confusion. I have witnessed this many times when starting young horses; they get a little overloaded with information, they ‘shut down’, giving off signals

In the Stirrups - October 2015  

This month In the Stirrups brings the action from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015, including interviews with Jonelle Price, Lainey...

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