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BD National Convention 2023

Day 1

Young Horse

CJD with James, Secret Agent. Need to hold horses hand and be confident to give them confidence. Let them look, dont stop them looking, show them world, turn out.

Usually prefers geldings & mares. Stallions can be difficult to keep attention. Look at canter & walk & good character. Confirmation is helpful but not vital. Natural looseness & suppleness is great. Rider needs to like the feel. James does 20min a day. Allow him forwards all of the time but hang the legs loose, dont override. He doesnt always understand the half halt so he carries his own frame. Ride hundreds of transitions, they are the hard part not the tricks. Develop the weaker side. Slow trot & allow horse to walk. Give horse time, repititon is what develops horse. At home would stretch but think about safety first,  allow with rein and horse doesnt increase speed. Spooky isnt always naughty, let him see what he's afraid of dont pin down and kick.

Straightness in 4yo, keep head & neck in front of chest, keep shoulders in front of inside hind. Rider Needs to ensure they are in good balance. Circles are great to slow horse down. Medium must be bigger in air. Uses her voice a lot even in tests & pat for confidence.

Hack & limit schooling, dont make them sore or jaded, 4 days x 20mins schooling.

Need to work the walk, but dont want biggest walk or collection can be difficult esp if aim is GP.

Stretch them, encourage them to stay forwards in own balance. Widen hands slightly (not low) & lengthen reins. Dont compare yourself to others . 


Laura Tomlinson with Abi & Roy 5yo

Dr B insisted on getting the basics right before trying to progress. Building a partnership with communicating by seat leg & hand to establish confidence to connection. Use transitions trot/canter to make horse think & listen, working paces pulling politely into hand. Can have balance & uphill tendancy without collection. Encourage horse to be longer without curling & deepening frame and dropping poll . Snorting is showing some tension. Riding up & out not tucking down.  Use speed of rising to slow trot so dont use hands  walk must march into the hand. Aids shouldn't get harder and bigger.

Use turns, circles & serpentines, if horse tries to rush away steer with shoulders & use that to slow horse down. Avoid steering too much with hand as it impacts hindlegs. Keep hand & contact forwards. Use leg then take off to remove pressure. If horse is struggling, ask yourself why & how you can help communication & show better way . If horse gets hot don't take legs off. If horse snatches on bit & goes behind, use leg & risk horse jogging. Use free walk to learn how horse should feel through back when relaxed.

Introduce counter canter with shallow loop and change direction using shoulders not hands.

Sophie Wallace & Fred (First Light) 7yo

3 nice correct paces who will become more special with correct training. Huge walk but takes time & work to create relaxation. Canters after walk. 2 years older than Roy so working on Canter /walk. Give with hand as go into walk to let hindleg follow. Canter transition, give inside rein & back up with leg to open frame & lift shoulder. Must have ability to stretch but stay on seat & follow hands & not hold himself. Rein shorter but hand more forwards to keep same frame. Ride more uphill to canter. If you dont give in downwards transition, then you strangle hindleg. Stretch in all paces to show suppleness of back. Gather horse in stretch without shortening rein, hold in seat. Make horse last longer mentally & physically by riding more from seat & less hand/leg.

Think about the difference for a horse between riding & sitting trot without horse becoming uncomfortable. Rising trot large circle, gradually take sitying, build the power of the seat over a circle, if horse becomes tighter in back go rising again. Introduce everything gradually. Sitting should support horse not create tension. Push into bend with inside leg without swinging quarters out, dont hang off inside rein. Focus on making inside hind work more through on stiffer side. Trot, walk,trot quick reactions staying stretched forwards.

Adrenaline can make horse tired. 

Start small leg yields each way before development of collection

Medium/Adv Med

Gareth Hughes

Ruby with FireKracka

Angharad with Mowgli

Both 6yo. Building their knowledge as horse strengthens. Training takes Knowledge, Proactivity & Patience. Need to understand what you are training for, need the picture of where you are going. Vision, feel & knowledge. Take movements and turn them into easier exercises to develop gymnasticism so dont over complicate. Look at balance, carriage & ease. Make the horse a better version of itself. The more gears you have the more options & fluency you have. Transitions within pace, use calf more than heel,  sit tall & lessen movement of seat to collect. Supple in ribcage, uses travers in canter & increases weight on outside leg. Travers 10m circle travers. The more easy to bend around inside leg the more sideways, the harder the more forwards. Dont hold on inside rein, release. Use leg yield on same line to fix it. Ride straight by using an aid not b stopping using a bending aid. Encourage horse to gain confidence to aids.

Counter canter collect but dont overflex. Rein aid connects to seat & leg, need to be able to release otherwise they get reliant & on shoulder. Counter canter then diagonal line to A eg PA/VA then ask for change using new inside leg to push to outside . Repititon gives us & horse confidence. Doesn't worry about mistakes only worries if horse doesnt try so dont make them nervous about making mistakes. Some horses pick changes up in 3-4 goes others take hundreds, give self 12@18 months! Start teaching when can collect canter, uses 1/2 10m circle returning to track asking just before track.

Strengthening & suppling exercise, travers on 15m circle then straighten then travers. Myst stay on same circle, ibside leg us most important for getting in and out. In between exercises keep working the canter dont just sit there.

Good Feel is where horse is following you. It isnt always right just because its light. Judged on what it looks like so you need to understand the feel from the look, use mirrors & support from ground.

Exercise then walk then exercise so horse learns not to drop you when you walk (egbto go to arena).

Uses circles to find the balance, rhythm & impulsion before exercise. Tension in horses shows in different ways horse eg if short & quick then gets quicker when nervous, bigger slower softer gets slower in tension- rising to speed up, sitting to keep back swing.

Trot, on diagonal pick up shoulder in on line must keep trotting through the line, reduce angle if horse not keeping trot.

Can use wrong trot diagonal in half pass to lift horses inside leg, dont tip over, only increase angle if horse is good on aids.

School 2 days, light day hack, poles, cant work same muscles every day but needs enough work to develop. Build positive not negative tension.

Circle in trot, shoulder in , straighten, repeat.

Half halt brings horse back to leg and seat so you can open front. You need subtle aids otherwise you cant use them in a test. 1st aid for getting back on aids 2nd to present for judge.

Small Tour

Gareth Hughes

Scarlett with Rocco

India with

The work we do is same regardless of natural talent/training level as same technical requirement.

Target is to reduce time & distance between the questions.

Close horse up it creates tension & our job is to increase suppleness. Use leg yield in canter in both directions to help lift shoulder & increase suppleness then keep inside leg there & slightly lift inside hand. Keep improving & balancing canter. Lift new ibside hand into change.

Horse in 4 parts, Bit end of rein, imagine like an extension of your arm, as if fingers were on bit ring, use that to influence jaw, head, poll, neck so if you want nose left touch left rein with fingers. Hand end of rein to influence shoulders so move hands in direction you want forehand to move.  Leg in middle to influence ribcage. Leg back to move quarters.

Zig zag practice from track, 4 steps, straighten set up new half pass with shoulder fore & change so it is always 1st stride of new half pass. Important part is teaching them to wait. In PSG get to centreline and 2nd marker 2-3 strides early so that change is on marker. If issue in half pass then return to working the half pass.

Tempis start on inside track, straight, make a change to outside when straight again ask for change to inside and build up gradually to more changes with counted strides if correct. Then on diagonal, 1 change on 3/4 line, 1 over X, one on next 3/4 line. Get used to accuracy so that middle change is always over X. When counting train your leg to your voice, start doing on inner track then to diagonal, hold leg in place until you are ready, always ride the canter in between. To start the 1s, inner track and change left/right then repeat. Then do 2 x 2 then do 4. Dont quit if theres a mistake. Keep adding more numbers.

Pirouette, develop the canter, shortening the steps, you need 3-4 shorter steps for half pirouette 6-8 for whole pirouette so if you can only shorten 4 steps you cant ride a full pirouette. Need to be able to shorten, keep shorter stride and do a few travers steps then ride straight again.

Every movement has a beginning a middle & an end so ride them.

When movement is correct, add impulsion. Nice riding is really important, offering the rein and thinking about what we want to present from our riding.



Grand Prix

CDJ with Audrey (Alive & Kicking), had time with Charlotte McDowell up to YR. Very spicy but lovely mare just started GP. CdJ likes spicy sharp horses. Stallions are often not sensitive enough. Riding single changes, and alternating shoulder fore & travers in canter. Travers good on hot, sensitive horses & suppleness. Canter leg yield towards leading leg all across helps to keep horse upright & moving off leg. Good canter pirouette comes from collecting from body,

cantering on the spot & releasing rein to show self carriage. Travers on circle, then shoulder fore to keep horse on inside leg.

Dont accept poor transition or movements at home, horses will think thats acceptable. Dont ride the test lines, work on suppleness, transitions, preparation, it's all about gymnastics. Short sides and corners are very important as little time to set up movements. In to corner & out, riding horse uphill around inside leg

Zig zag, ride in leg yield not hp for training from wall not cl. Ride 4 sideways, 1 forwards, 1 change. Rider makes decision about how many sideways so vary it & ensure same forwards/sideways distance both ways.

Learn from mistakes. Audrey can take over and over react but focus on keeping her on the legs.

Reward & give decent walk break. Usually does warm up then canter then trot as is softer.

Trains changes on the wall to help straightness. One times is about timing and not waiting for horse. If horse comes back then ride in a more forwards canter.

Audrey got to GP at but will take another 2-3 years to be finished level & strong enough. Doesnt ride with whip generally, sometimes in piaffe/passage or changes to create rhythm never to keep horse going.

At moment Audrey struggles to keep rhythm in trot unless collected, she can get too hectic. Her natural trot on long rein doesnt have much natural suspension. Benefits from more collection/passage. Audrey tends to do too much. Use transitions within the trot, to help develop more trot, doesn't hold her on the bit, can release. Focus more on transitions to piaffe not doing lots of piaffe steps. Finish on long rein in rising trot.

Day 2

Young Horse

CJD with Sadie Smith Times Orwell 7th in 5yo class at  BD nats

Ensure horse always has good experience.

Needs to be able to sit & push not just one or other

Needs time to grow & become more uphill

Have plan & routine. School 20 mins Mon tues thurs fri. Hack weds sat. Sun off.

Self carriage early on. Much harder to make a horse which is very light in hand  become stronger into the hand. Must take hand but not pull but def not suck off bit

Must have good canter

Needs to use neck and stretch through in walk to overtrack. Lateral walks v expensìve so dont collect early & hack out regularly up hills

Trot stepping under body with swinging back. Suspension will come later. Massive paces cause wear & tear & early end to career.

Transitions leg yield. Train to go forwards from light leg, do big yeeha around arena if llacks reaction

Tendancy to do everything from left so curl to left

Use rising trot as much as possible to keep thoroughness & swing

Straightness - head & neck in front of chest. Dont go too deep in corners at thiis stage.  Leg yield must have flexion no bend, start on diagonal line and look at way you are going

Everyone has stronger & weaker side don't avoid the difficult side

Give Breaks on long rein and lots of praise

Warm up 20 mins warm up eg hack & 15mins stretch

Best stretch at end of session in trot, longer lower contact, must take contact & not curl off bit

If horse is naturallly on forehand  dont have him so much stretched if puts him more downhill

Keep legs loose & dont ride all the time with a whip, must have own momentum


Novice horse

Laura Tomlinson with Abbie Newbury on Roy, Seagry Viceroy

Focus on basics, bending, straightness, balance

Transitions trot, canter must stay forwards , offer hand forwards immediately after trans to make space for hindlegs. Must feel horse can make mistakes.

Steer movements eg serpentine with shoulders. Can dictate & influence from seat in rising trot rise slower & slower to teach transition without hand

Encourage stretch & relaxation. Practice give & retake in canter


Sophie Wallace on 7yo Freddie, First Light

Canter walk transitions. Use small circles in sttretched walk

Leg yield.

Adjusting trot from rising

Keep open frame to develop expression fron athleticism not restriction

Pat with outside rein when spooking from something to outside

In counter canter keep weight in inside stirrup as if keep asking for inside lead canter

Rider Needs to work on body eg with pilates



Maria Colliander with Gracie Catling on Fresian Jeb, TSJEBE FAN 'E VESTA HOEVE, PSG level

Position of judge can affect what you can judge best eg contact/mouth  impulsion/straightness, precision.

Must pay attention to walk not get distracted.


Carl Hester & Alan with Valegro

Is not allowed polos as makes him sneeze! Now lives out with Uthopia


Gareth Hughes

Medium/Adv Med

Tim Baty Jupiter Scais

Ruby Hughes FireKracka

Horses that are nervous, avoid  what they are spooking at to encourage them to relax. Every day can be different. Need to be able adapt warm up. Teach them to relax in walk within warm up. Trot 1st with young horses. Canter 1st with 6+ yo. Canter is learning area medium onwards. Practice shapes accurately.

Needs to lift core in canter, spiral in & out to lift core, need to ride fwds, quicker not bigger with inside leg. Horse needs to take responsibility to learn to adapt stride length within the movements. Horses that struggle to collect, push inside leg under to help outside leg to collect, from inside leg. Im simple change find consistent walk rhythm before cantering. Collect from leg, walk transition from seat. Dont worry about jogging but avoid diving. If horse is confused about collecting then use 10m circles at RSVP then 1/2 10m s/c 10m 1/2 circle but wait until horse is straight & in good rhythm before upwards transition. Controlled anticipation, breaking up the movements of test.

Haĺf pass, if find it difficult, reduce bend & angle, gocus on canter quality, the start is the important part.

Walk needs relaxation from riders seat. On the buckle but riding the walk. Extended walk, impresssion of a contact, ears level of witgers & pushing shoulders away, more opens foreleg the more the hindleg can step under. Medium, similarly ride front legs away but shorter rein. Collected walk shorter rein & ride hindlegs forwards, if they get tense ride walk shoulder in the straighten . Ride lateral in walk gives rider time to think about the quality of movement but also to put horse around & accepting inside leg.

Stretch horse but amount depends on how they stretch & what they have been  doing before session.

If not happy with quality in movement then 20m circle , get horse off leg. Stick asks horse to work harder in the movement not to go. Basic pace is relative to level. Big slower movement needs to get quicker. Sitting connects the horse, rising to quicken the legs.

Rein back, difficult generally.  Start away from track. If horse doesnt RB then Bend horse & do turn on forehand but stepping back. Once they are confident going back then ask for atepping straight.

In hand work Ryan Shannon with Queenie &  other mare

Touching each leg & click to encourage lifting. Rein back with stick in front.

Half steps

De Niro bloodlines seem to find colecton easy

Callum Whitworth & Damaris half steps & passage, just started GP


Gareth Hughes

Small Tour

Alex Clarke-West Sasha

Lindsay Wilcox-Reid with Fonz

More difficult movements but also come up too quick. Have to learn to ride beginning, middle & end of every movement particularly corners.

Horse gains confidence through knowledge & repetition

Canter 20m circle in travers, then reduce size of circle & keep inside leg on & ask for travers Harder they  find movement stay in exercise (large circle).

Pirouette exercise, 20m circle, 10m circle each time cross c/l then same again with travers on small circle. When easy ride working pirouette. Dont allow horse to fall to inside.

Every movement needs stepping stones then if horse struggles, take a step back

If gets stuck in pirouette dont gallop forwards, neess to learn how to cope in pirouette.

Horse gets tense in changes, could be excitement or nerves. Short diagonals with changes at each end . If fails then 10m circle at end of each diagonal. Repetition builds confidence.

Leg yield to counter canter but if relaxed ask for change on track

Tempis, on track, on 3/4 line, on diagonal. Ride forwards in between. Keep new outside leg on to tell horse we are doing tempis.

Zig zag, ride 4 steps half pass 3 fwds inc change,  repeat, so change always on 7th stride. In time reduce fwd strides and change  always 1st stride of new half pass.


Charlotte DuJardin

Hawtins San Floriano GP

Allow horses to make mistakes when learning & work out what would help the understanding. Train 1x & 2x on track to help balance, then on inner track, finally on diagonal. Natyral hot horses will try and make mistakes but you'll benefit over time.

Allow natural trot in stretching & warm up, dont expect the most cadenced collected work until later in session.

Allow horse to stay thinking forwards throughout work in piaffe/passage.

Be generous in release of contact to encourage self carriage and freedom





Young Horse Seminar 2019


Give horse time to settle

Horse needs to develop confidence to even contact

Needs to show desire to lift shoulder when asked to lengthen

Rider balance v important

Horses gave difficult side & very difficult side!!

Make sure make work even

Canter, outside hind leg myst be active, inside hind must step under horse's middle, ideally to rider's centre of gravity


Mares need more time to develop as longer in back & also need to learn to tip pelvis more than male horses, may need more stretch breaks to encourage core

In canter outside hind leg must stay active in collection.

Sometimes slowing the pace makes the horse work much harder.

Rider musn't do all the work or the horse doesnt learn to work for self.

Alignment with suppleness but not too much bend

Sometimes you need to give more time to ensure that horse gets time to grow as growing plates are still developing.


Weaker fetlock joint (to much give) limit collected work as will limit ability to deliver power to contact and will need careful shoeing.

Need to see even flexion in hind joints.

Ensure horse doesnt push against the leg with lack of contact to outside rein when lacks supple strength

Training the walk, take onto small 6m circle to keep suppleness when collecting a big walk

In order to create piaffe then needs to press down with leg to lift up

May twist hindlegs when tired, ensure horse isnt over worked. Ensure you ride on diffwrent surfaces

Look for evenness front & back.

Quality of transition now paramount, keep hind leg active

Keep horse's shoulders open esp inside foreleg to let hindleg through in transitions, think of placing inside hindleg between front legs in canter. 


PSG level test- 1 judges test other judges perspective/potential, paces, submission

Horse needs to be relaxed and allow straightness through withers otherwise affects ease of changes.changes can easily block through the body, try riding ribcage more towards new outside leg with more throughness over bacj Use spiralling in, leg yield out in canter to get connection more forwards. Keep horse's elbows moving forwards & ensure doesnt get tight where chest meets neck, dont try & create show trot, work on swing & lengthening of muscles.


Development of wither to fit saddle, round croup especially if hindlegs are straight, good angle at jaw, head to neck. Straightness of limb usually leads to more soundness but not vital, moorr important that they land foot flat not on inside or outside

Weak hindlegs, help by use of poles in different pattern but not if horse hits poles as can damage self. Few steps walk shoulder in then relax. Hacking & hills on good surfaces.

Horses only have a finite number of extended trots in same way as show jumpers only have finite big jumps

2018 National Convention notes

Emile Faurie with

Nikki Barker 5yo novice

Bright horse, tension but not very negative.

Some work best in walk, others, increase the pace.

Horses must have natural desire to work and take contact forwards. Clear walk, cadenced trot, ground covering clear canter.

Must accept contact/bridle. Modern sports horses almost impossible to keep in front of vertical all the time. But must on vertical in test, or be slightly in front if young horse

Ride horses in a logical system as you cant reason with them. Horses learn through reward & repitition not punishment

Canter/ trot trans encourage horse to swing more & think forwards

Tests in usa, horses who were allowed to look settled & had lower adrenaline levels than horse, bent away & kicked to the side

In canter trans encourage horse to jump forwards

Lengthening on long side helps balance, keep frame together until builds strengths tgen can open frame more and lift front leg esp in canter

(Rachel Murray) developing strong & stable large young sports horses. Quality Protein, oil rather than starch. Canter/trot very important- Biomechanically in trot spine rotate whereas in canter spine must flex & bend and so this works on coordination and proprioception

High boost starch/sugar within 1 hour causes spikes, individual horses differ but for sharp horses oil & fibre based diets better.

Fatigue -stop work before young horse gets tired. Individual muscles tire and may catch a toe in the surface and can see wobbly jpints hock & fetlock in walk

Tom Goode Novice 5yo

Keep working the connection & keep pace Working

Work the leg yield across diagonal, starting leg yield at X. Must step forwards not fall sideways. 2 sideways 1 forwards...

Ride more forwards if horse tense & ease hand forwards

Start counter canter, short diagonal and counter canter to corner

Give hand forwards the moment horse goes into walk. Horses that have big walks, don't shorten at home at all.

Trot walk trans to develop half halts & develop suspension. But dont sacrifice throughness and ensure can maintain that cadence on 10m circle or in lateral work

Canter large circle, small circle same centee, no tilt, give rein to develop collection. Ensure rider is straight & turning not leaning

Repetition rather than new moves every day for young horses. Some hacking before work, some turn out but depends on horse, routine very important

(Rachel Murray, young horses can only shorten walk when stable through back & core, not just how legs are moving, but the stability of the back.

Horses 'choose' to be asymmetric but work from ground helps eg tummy lufts & bottom tucks or develop more on one side eg tail pulls work with physiotherapists)

Tom Goode (Langley) Medium 7yo

Move a little in neck to get a little lower with swinging through body & activity. Uses leg yield on diagonal. Shpulder in in rising trot as a suppling exercise rather thsn as a movement. Canter shoulder fore. Then Travers down long side

Flexion (small inside finger towards outside shoulder) before bend

Lateral work correct bend, quality & consistency of pace rhythm

Half pass, thumbs to ears to marker, inside foreleg steps towards marker

Medium trot, deep breath in for preparation & breathe out in medium, keep straightness

(Rachel Murray, watch where saddle goes, see if it mainly goes one way, coukd be horse, rider or poor saddle fit)

(Peter Storr, mainly 8s for trot work, just more uphill, quality of trot is 9 or 10).

Gareth Hughes on own Adv Med/PSG

Warm up is not just stretching but anout preparing for the movements you are planning to ride. Older horses less supple so about setting body up. Put neck where it keeps rider safe, also where balance allows. Stretching may come later.

Make horse more aware of inside leg, getting horse more supple in ribcage and lift, ability to control balance

Ride correctly & with clarity for horse

Easy to do everything not quite right

If cant see half pass as come out of short side then cant ride it

Teaches horse to understand 'aid' not from buzzy energy eg puaffe needs to learn from walk

Lots of breaks so horse doesnt get used to switching off and cant switch back on, can produce problems going from warm up to test. Stretches in walk/trot/canter whichever appropriate in part of warm up

Rebecca Hughes warm up for PSG, look at canter, need 5 gears in canter, work on those. Small, uphill & open front.

Walk, get neck working, if on buckle neck can be looking anywhere, when pick up rein must work through body (PS must work through body to rein to get good walk). Use 2 movements per pace as can be too confusing. Canter uses travers; 3 elements body positioning, shape of circle, quality of canter. Supple in neck, doesnt lean over inside leg. 3/4 line 1/2 10m circle in travers then increase by adding 5m working pirouette at end of half circle

Canter 3/4 line half pass to assess how horse follows aid & hand and change at end. More supple then ask for more uphill frame. Canter half pass 4 strides, repositioning to new lead with sh for to new lead, change, dont change until right then half pass back. Single long galf passes are easier than several small half passes with changes

Difference between whats good for now and whats good for later. Pick exercises each day, cant do everything everyday. Exercises rather than lines if a little tired

Trot, exercise half halts, slower tempo then forwards to develop towards passage. If they have no natural tendancy towards athleticism, slower trot but keep going so learns to swing from leg to leg. In half pass, if anticipates, take longer in set up & go from different marker

(RM passive warm up eg with rug, nonspnonspecific warm up to heat muscles of body, specific warm up to switch on muscles & neural pathways for specific exercises. Mustn't overdo specific exercises as will deplete glycogen which takes 72 hours to replenish. Some horses cant stretch at start due to confirmation & pendulum

Biomechanics of zig zag, in half pass ribcage rotates in opposite direction, switch on muscle in new direction from shoulder fore so can make change )

Sophie Wells, disability is an asymmetry or weakness so everyone has some level of disability

Sophie rides Georgias G2 horse & Izzy rides Sophies Touchdown (was off 6 years with foot tumour & tendon injury)

Alignment & suppling as horse (Midnight) tends to bend left & fall through right shoulder so needs to turn her from right leg. Canter left with right bend to create suppleness. Rides off track generally. Horse carries self 23 hours a day so rider must let go from time to time to encourage that when ridden.

(RM challenge is to switch muscles on so can carry rider without rider using strength. Counter canter with counter flexion is v good for proprioception & core muscles. Saddle must be very secure for riders who are weak on one side. Horses at lower grades need to focus on suppleness through back for walk)

Georgia (G2) now rides Moonlight.both riders have cerebral Palsy to greater or lesser impact. Horses & riders need to learn to breathe! Riders have loops on reins (2or3 on each side). Has to remind Izzy to release as weaker right side gets tense. Forwards/back gears to get relaxation. Relaxation in hand, control in body. Mistakes in training are fine. Position is v important for Para riders, stay in centre of balance as horse will fall to where rider is leaning.

Georgia, spiralling in 20-10m & leg yield out to develop core muscles

Izzy shoulder fore on left before travers to get core to work and not curl and to get straight. 10m circle every marker in canter

Rider tense core/tummy muscles (as if being punched) to maintain position

Horse trained to some voice sounds eg to produce medium pace

Walk/trot transitions, train by making smaller trot first before they walk and do that for shorter periods of time before walk transition. Half halt with leg not rein.

Leg yield 3-4 steps then forwards

Use passage, check xan guve rein dont stay in too long.

Use corners. Make horse halt in corner and wait for you.

Give rein, esp inside in half pass. Always a risk that rider tries to hard which can exacerbate issues in para rider.

Riders & horses working regularly with physiotherapists.

(RM nutritional support vital for Para riders to get power with obedience. Eg oil/fibre based for G1/2 horses. Also saddles must help horse & rider. Also look at shoeing, wider longer shoe may give more support on arena )

Gareth Hughes Classic Briolinca GP

What makes a GP horse? Willingness to try.

5 gears in canter, collection person could walk next to horse. As collects tends to tip over inside shoulder so need to work on straightness thrpugh inside. Contact is directing not collecting.

Uses calf for direction & heel/ankle for reminder to jump.

Pirouettes in PSG different depending on stage of training. Control in & out is as or more important than pirouette. If pirouette is going to be big ride outside line so more towards A than F/K so finishes on correct line. Quality of canter coming out of pirouette creates consistency & confidence.

We make mistakes we must learn from that and improve.

(PS, amazing pirouettes because Gareth is directing without force. Size less important than quality)

Mini zigzags making her wait for change then counting 4 sideways 4 straight to set up change then 4 sideways 3 straight & reduce straights until can do chnge immediately after 4 sideways but only whilst can keep relaxation

(RM Briolinca is stable in ribcage and doesnt rotate so much in half pass so can make change over easier)

(PS judge on short side would be marking higher than on long side as latter would see slight tipping in balance & marginally off the bit but still good mark, short side would be v high)

Trot, nice easy balance but rider engages own & horses core to produce better trot. Almost manufacturing what looks a natural trot but she wouldnt do in field, comes from half halts, transitions, wants her to come up to his seat so can't sit heavy.

(PS this quality is coming from almost invisible half halts)

(RM support team vitally important. Pressure mapping from bridle & saddle, must be able to lift back.)

Emile Faurie Cafes Colletta, ex showjumper until 3 years ago. Hadn't had double on and hadn't got great basics. Typical Holstein knees come up so loses softness through back which has to be corrected. Needs to train corners, ride through in shoulder in once learnt.

Tends to change late behind (sj) so uses Shoulder fore counter canter before change to control & influence lower back.

Quite intense so work & walk break

Half pirouette on centre line, (right canter) slight leg yield to left before asks for half pirouette to make her wait & engage

Tempi changes, need to focus on own position to keep straightness.does on inner track. Cant sit still in tempis yet until mare develops confidence

Trot, already has high knee action, thumbs/knee/marker, keep inside leg on and gradually make steeper action but only as much as she stays supple through back. After half pass can then develop passage to get regularity & balance, not asking too much. Sit & swing with horse to keep connection. Combine with medium to keep swing

(PS small tour is like driving a limousine, Big tour is a sports car. All about harmony with energy.)

(RM moving from show jumping to dressage is a challenge, getting stronger in lumber area as in SJ hind leg up & down in dressage needs to bring hindleg more under so myscle neuro pathway needs to change & re programne. Use raised poles in walk is better than repetitive reloading.Watch & feel your horse, does it wobble, how are the muscles? Work with farrier, physio, saddler, vet) )

Emile- His German owners are very jealous of support teams & sports science that British team have.

Day 2

Emile with Nikki Barker

Cotact acceptance and connection from behind and adjustability of frame from seat/leg not rein. More tense, ride more forwards & encourage poll flexion. Must stretch forwards to connection into walk

Working in at show should be same as at home. Riders often use different clothes eg boots or tack which changes feel

Start practising trans trot walk/trot over X on c/l. Then halt same place. 10m circles, continuous curve no edges, correct size.

(Peter Storr, judge is considering, is rider following scales of training, contact, suppleness, rhythm at novice level.

Rachel Murray, in the wild will do transition when most efficient eg when more efficient to canter rather than trot. This horse has tension and the use of transitions locked in new muscles and unlocked the tense muscles. In 10m circles outside hind needs to stabilise horse, fatigue sets in quickly. Recovery time, training depletes glycogen & damages muscle fibres so needs rest days. No more than 2-3 hard training per week. )

Medium canter on inner long side then 10-12m circle to bring back, not hands.

One of the biggest mistakes is over training coming up to big competition..

Tom Goode 5yo. Trot/walk/trot repitions, touch just behind leg 2-3 steps into new trot. Then almost walk transitions & touch with whip and create half halt from upper body not hand & creates more cadence. Make her soft behind saddle as horse is croup high so xan carry frame higher. 

( RM Horse has No clavicle so only has muscle to hold on front leg, Need to use muscle underneath shoulder blade to lift withers and rib cage & back)

Developing canter walk trans on circles from light hand. To develop self carriage. Allow horse to walk & relax. Then leg yield. Turn onto diagonal line then move from leg, dont start parallel. Affects quality of trot.

(RM asked about removing lactic acid after work. Watched mare twist hindleg on turns when tired. Lactic acid produced with inflammatory elements which are removed by blood flow- if you stop and dont warm down properly both after training or after a test then blood flow drops and waste products are not removed. Stretch after session is the most beneficial in increasing range of motion, stretch trot with rug if cold. At Athens, the dressage horses had the highest core temperatures.

Travelling affects respiratory, auto-immune, muscal-skeletal systems. Breathes in mould & debris if box is not properly cleaned out every time and can cause travel sickness. Standing still on herringbone facing left, the right hind takes the brunt of the braking, longer the travel the more the effect. Clean lorry everytime you travel and dont travel horse with weak right hind facing left if possible )

Tom Goode with Langley, very uphill, encourages horse to reach more over back and deeper at start to develop strength. Canter trot transitions to help bring connection. Again half pass starts on diagonal thumb, ears marker and think travers. Transitions within the pace.

Langley started changes explosively. Using Center line left canter Right shoulder fore then change to right improved this

Emile- look at the best whether its horse or rider, and aim for that.

(RM polework very useful, step sideways over pole strengthens & stabilises, poles across arena, step over one sideways then opposite way, can add Equibands which work well working with physio and can do in hand in walk. Must lead horses equally from left & right & do everything evenly)

Gareth 8yo Dutch gelding. Very loose through middle & big movement without core strength so he would push off hindleg when asked to step more forwards. Quick hindleg, pendulum will step more under body in engagement whereas big, slightly slower will push off hind leg. Need to think more about how horse moves. As his passage has improves so has his ability to half halt and engage forwards in better balance. Big moving large horse will struggle for accurate 10m circle but ride for future benefit of horse and accepting judge will recognise its too big.

Looked at athletes at Rio to see what different shapes develop depending on sport (except riders!!). Similarly horses need to build correct muscles for future. Using rising to adjust styst horse's legs and seat to engage middle of horse, not pushing, tall, light, upright, suction cup not driving.

(PS use of seat very clear demo of not driving .

RM Horse's back has to move through range of movement in spine, so pushing down can prevent this)

Horse drops neck when disengages hind leg. Does transitions(in pace) within lateral movements, sharper angles help this horse to keep engagement

Learn to deal with failure, when you teach something it won't be right at start don't change question to match horse's answer.

Easy to train quality out of superb young horses. Results at lower levels mean less than maintaing correct progress. Always train for future and for horse not to flash. Has days where thinks he's on course for Tokyo other days wouldn't even go to Addington! Maintain consistency with good guidance from trainer. Need to train each aid. Horse & rider need to understand how they get in and how they get out of each movement. Horses have natural reactions eg bucking or rearing. Keep easy system/aids, dont make them more complicated & more of them

(PS harmonious balance not flash)

(RM training theory, neuro muscular patterns and repetition. Consistent message from pressure release. Put aid on, get response, release aid. Andrew Maclean 2 of 50 horses go forwards naturally from leg aid. If you change aid causes confusion.)

Rebecca Hughes not secure in AM level but Make mistake & have a go (positive tension). Starts with gears in canter, from body not hand. Half pass in, movement, out & quality of pace afterwards (e.g. could it do a change?). Realign shoulders and keep subtle flexion, but in training may straighten flexion to encourage thought for change.

Takes 18 months to train and establish correct change. Riders worry because change is either right or wrong whereas other moves improve and we accept they arent correct at start.

Tempis dont start with specific numbers. Only change when horse accepts closure of aids on new side ie moves slightly from new inside leg/rein. Then cgange in points ie Q line & c/line , still not counting. Loses some control and quality even if changes correctly. Then go back to changing randomly in good balance. At home if had some tension in 4x always go back to setting up and just doing 1 or 2 changes on diagonal with confidence.

Move them out of comfort zone then go back then move then go back a step again. If gets really stuck, walk & pat. Always Focus on the pace

(PS judge by words, fairly good etc. How well does rider set up not just how big)

(RM do you buy uphill or train it? Every horse changes confirmation over time naturally as well as with training.)

Gareth with Briolinca. Warm up of more advanced horses will be to try to warm up appropriate muscles but without making difficult lines. Uses leg yield in canter (counter flexion) long line, change.

Tempis 5x4s 5x3s. Explains counting. Practice changes from direction that you do in test and try & get middle one over X. If problems repear but if horse gets worse then go back a step.

1 tempis, rider starts & finishes before horse as its all about rhythm. Starts on longside asking for 2x1s, outside, inside. Then canter quality again then 2x1s. Then gradually reduce the canter strides between the 2x1s.

Carl tells Gareth he hangs off one side so working on rider straightness to achieve straightness, rhythm, balance. Use mirrors.

Pirouettes come at end of GP when they need to carry that weight, its like doing squats after gym work out. Then you have to do good trot transition.

(PS tempis, correct sequence but harmony & balance)

(RM re tack, make communication & life comfortable. Pressure points under bridle, girth & saddle to ensure problems dont occur. Bridle pressure, base of ear and jaw which makes horse move less well. Put on ear bonnet must lengthen bridle. Briolinca dropped head low if bridle not fitted properly with ear bonnet. Pressure from girth affects biomechanics of horses front legs.)

Gareth-breeding much more sensitive gymnastic horses now so need more care over pressure.

Bits, have to have double in FEI so need to train horse to accept early on (6ish). Alternates between snaffle & double but enough time in double before competition. Snaffle not always easy option.

Passage (PS thinking between 9 & 10), different passages, can ride in more forwards passage or smaller one depending on what it is going into or out of.

First target, mistake free test, aim for 70%. Must think about the transitions, dont ask for more eg extension than you can get transition. corners very important & must stay on seat. Always finds corners hard work.if youve got a nice horse you enjoy riding then keep training on. if you dont enjoy flash horse then it wont progress the same. Its not about winning. Briolinca programme-2 days work (if 1 intense canter then 2nd should be trot) Hack or lunge or polework (some horses dont jump/pole) turn out either hand grazing or different size pens. Dressage horses need to want to work so too much hacking doesn't always work

(RM risk factor & injury control. Cross training is vital, stretching, polework, hacking, turn out.)

(PS explains GP to music.)

Tom Goode on Sam Geddes' Dior.

Done 3-4 GPs over 70% but designed easier freestyle & will make more difficult when more established. Rides various exercises from GP and has designed plan to work from same direction as in GP. Allows half alf steps more forwards to keep rhythm & willingness.

Rides canter travers then 1/2 circle keeping flexion, back into travers & repeat. Must keep connection forwards.

Floorplan starts with passage as thats his strength.keep focus on way of going.part of plan

Enter passage halt passage 8m passage circle piaffe 8m passage circle. Cl trot. Turn diagonal extended. Into passage turn F. Piaffe 1/4 pirouette. Half pass passage. Half pass coll trot.

Canter at F zig zag starting & finishing 1/4 lines. Extension H to left of D. 1.5 Pirouette 2x FH. Repeat with ones. & final extension.

(PS all levels go for symmetry, suitable music. Don't focus on degree of difficulty as if it doesnt work it affects harmony & technical. At world cup DoD is calculated in advance. )

(RM be sensitive to your horse)

The Dressage Convention 2015 notes

Day One

Tristan Tucker:

Training horse to be relaxed in arenas

Groundwork Horse "yoga", turning the horse to bend & step with hindlegs. Turn front legs so they don't cross in front

Lateral suppleness relaxes the horses

Long rein moving horse on circle, follows the energy of the handler not of the environment

Gives him rest near obstacle not pressie to teach them to approach

Take pressure off when horse relaxes not when tense, when horse stops move his feet

Target is if he goes to the goal & touches it then it goes away

In front of leg, means horse stays going forwards even when leg pressure is relaxed ie makes horse takes responsibility for own movement. If educated horse then uses much sharper leg but if less educated then move horses hind legs on a circle, sideways.

Michael Klimke

Too much too early in many horses now, start horse at 4.

Gymnastic warming up, start long & deep, using rising trot, on buckle, don't worry if on front legs, classical inside leg to outside hand, get back & neck stretched + loose don't focus on hind legs too early

More serpent ones & big long bending lines than straight lines

Do as little as possible as a rider even if light in hand or a little slow

Transitions still stretched, trot canter transitions especially

More forwards in canter as stretched as possible

Relaxation is paramount and then focus on hind legs in show frame

Ride trot walk trans. Can't always make it smooth must get a reaction. Ride transitions sitting to rising (more fwds) 2-3 steps, push into corners

Leg yielding think fwds sideways

Leg yielding Centre line to left, when hit track half pass right

Plenty of stretch walk breaks

Tension in one part of arena, large circle, no stirrups, trot walk trans to put on seat, use voice, as soon as ready to walk, trot again, as soon as in trot then walk again

At 6 don't ask for extension

Use legs then take off, ep in big medium then bring back

Canter ride positive but uphill rhythm with body. Many Canter walk trans (with upper body) keep inside leg on

Flying changes, half circle towards A/C, slightly change flexion on half circle then quick leg aid then walk & relax

The perfect stretch should still have contact, depends on conformation, bridge of hundreds, back , riders hands, horses mouth. If goes too light then keep stretching until even in rein.

Will never get correct bridge if lacks suppleness over back from stretched start

How much you will do with demanding movement early in training depends on horse, but at home, don't chase the competition grades too early.

Thinks his father wouldn't like certain aspects of how it is going ie videos & photos within training when things go wrong momentarily. His father & he was against freestyle originally, now he sees that as the highlight of the sport.

Talked about being selector of German team ie Totilas in Aachen. Need to prove fitness but he had got 80% in selection trials & passed vet check & was sound in warm up.

Wants to see Olympic format remain same (loved London) but sees change may be inevitable, If we want to stay in Olympics. Maybe a revised format that we don't know yet would be better.

Carl Hester

Elementary/medium horse.

Walk & canter most important.

Good paces come from relaxation.

Don't ride more forwards if you can't do sitting on the bigger trot

Lacking rhythm in canter, sit lighter with hand forwards, lower neck & ride forwards. Think canter hips through hands.

Expect horse to have lighter contact in canter than in trot as its more naturally forwards

Horse stronger on inside rein think leg yield from outside leg rather than get stronger on inside rein to bend/turn

In walk, think of rowing with pushing arms & seat to encourage neck to relax out & to increase length of stride. If you use the legs to increase the walk he will walk more up but not more out.

Work next on trot halt transitions. Feel which way you are leaning- horse will be longer that side is trailing that hind leg. Small walk steps until it halts square. Smaller the walk steps the more balanced the walk to achieve square halt.

If horse stretches easier. At end do several circles in trot & canter in stretch. If horse stiffer one way ride with open rein to encourage lateral as well as longitudinal stretch

Developing the young advanced rider and young horse

6yo horse, likes people but not other horses! But paces & attitude, but that can change with development.

Warmed up by young rider, needs to be light enough for young small rider but sharp enough for Carl to ride.

Good natural walk like a racehorse in the paddock. Sometimes trot disappears but confident it will come back. Don't put on the buckle (of the rein) at start if its not safe!

Some horses are strong in mouth naturally but easier to make lighter than horse who won't take contact is empty contact.

Hand forwards not a long backwards rein as this shortens the neck. Give & retake to check self carriage.

Developing the suspension in the trot-touch with leg or whip (and cluck) & pat & create more push and then half halt so doesn't do many steps to keep creating reaction.

Lateral work, shoulder fore, focus on inside hind coming up to outside shoulder.

Stays rising in lateral work to keep it easy.

Put medium canters in to refresh.

Relax again in warm up even if you've had a bad day. Don't put on box with negative feelings & tension.

The guarantee is in the training not in the price you pay.

Only 4 days of schooling a week for 15-20 minutes but lots of stretching and fittening work before & after & on other days

Richard Davidson

Medium horse

Horses can appear croup high if they aren't engaging their muscles in the thorax area around rib cage.

Rider should ensure they aren't behind vertical through tight muscles which stops pelvis moving. Keep supple in hips & legs, relaxed knee. There is a time to bring body back but not if horse isn't swinging.

Forward going horse, make them wait for you to adjust within pace or between paces. Don't stop horse racing away with rein .

Focus on swing more than expression.

Don't overreact if horse shakes head, just wait & it'll settle.

Half pass, set up then relax & go with it.

Remember to breathe! Don't lock thumb on top of whip. Keep wrists soft.

Trot to canter is the most difficult transition.

Tip body a little more forwards when increasing the canter, swing pelvis more to increase canter rather than leg. 

The advanced rider skills (RD riding his own horse, owned 10 weeks)

Enjoying riding your horse is more important than pure talent.

Pressure release is the key to good communication. Smallest possible pressures to get response but immediate release when reacts in the right way. Put leg on to ask sideways, horse misunderstood & pulled feds into rein, rider holds contact firm, horse realises can't go forwards so goes sideways so goal achieved with minimal change of aids

Rider goes into neutral position & pressure to confirm horse is doing right thing

Horse in front of leg if stays in speed you set him into, could be small/slow pace, not about the speed.

Where ears are indicate where horse's focus is. Will see things differently from right & left side.

Understand where neck bones are ie not high in neck so more base of neck moves forwards the more the back stretches

Do competition moves in places where don't do it in test to ensure on aids

Click as prelude to leg pressure

Clare Lomas

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.

Day one evening

Stephen Clarke

Judges have different roles, judge at C is there to police accuracy & straightness but judge at E/B is looking more at way of going & length of neck/frame.

Then judged AM85. Judge's job isn't to find the % but to mark fairly & let the test find the percentage. Then asked rider to ride again with more risks within the paces & be more accurate and go from the marker and show 2 clear transitions. Make use of invisible shoulder fore in half passes thinking nose/shoulder/neck should lead always.

Better cadence should be produced from good training not forced.

Michael Klimke's comments re judging at Dressage Convention today to Stephen Clarke

Judges should be paid & professional then can be

Organisers should not select judges they pick their friends Stretch lowest & highest scores

Yellow cards to judges

Why do we need 7 judges, they need to get together afterwards and agree way forwards

Judges need to decide on what they want against the training scales

Judges say right thing about harmony then they mark up the flashy tense horses 

Stephens reply

System was better before people started & was just sticking plaster

Judges need to become more consistent & professional, more horse rider people who thrash out agreement after the judging has taken place

Judges do not mark up spectacular movement but do mark up true impulsion with harmony

Tristan Tucker

Breaking young horses( in light relief)

New system of introducing the horse to the human environment.

The ridden part is the 'exam' so handler needs to set horse up.

Teaches the what, when, why of the aids, the reaction to the pressure so can ride with leg from the start. Make sound first before aid to follow leg & hand. Open rein means sideways not forwards.

Teach horse to carry own body before being having to carry rider. When put under pressure needs to encourage bending. Doesn't worry about mouthing unless becomes nasty biting then 'bites back'. Body language & noise. Keeping pressure on until approaches & touches. Doesn't want to desensitize wants to keep sensitivity but to encourage horse to control himself. Uses different noises for forwards, backwards & move away.

Be aware of whether horse is sensitive to sound or vision & start Him dealing with issues around less stressful stimuli. Put saddle on without lots of people holding. Puts girth on tight and then loosen when horse relaxes after taking relaxed pattern positions. Then bridle on with Same patterns. Then same patterns with picking leg up then again with hopping up & downn. Then half gets on, bend if moves away. Thenvput body all over. Then sit up in safety (bent,) position. Then make sure can control feet placement before riding on.

Laura Tomlinson

Starts warm up in canter after walk as more natural gait

Rides renders on 3/4 line to improve control of all 4 corners of horse.

Then trot work then again working canter collection & on.

Rides on inner track a lot so horse doesn't use wall.

Make it easy for horse & don't make them very tired. Plenty of breaks. Work on equalizing flexibility.

Don't rush warm up target is to develop paces etc for moment they go into ring

Half pass: sit in direction of movement, inc turning shoulders and weight into direction of travel.

Bring her back & touch with leg/whip to develop higher steps towards passage

Change paces regularly & which rein to vary which muscles are working.

Day Two

Background to horses being tense in arena. Horses get behind leg if scared, not about tiredness or laziness. Horses often get scared by large screens etc.

Tristan Tucker

Again working on putting horse into relaxed 'yoga' position in ridden situation for noise/flags etc. If rider gets tense + pulls on rein then makes horse react & run. Rider needs to show horse way to relaxed position, face noise/flag with bend and move hind legs over. Prize giving is like an exam , horse needs to know the answer

The pattern is move hind legs and bend neck (only stopping clapping when horse relaxes & steps forwards towards to noise, not when horse is running away. this was something I remember Kyra Kyrklund saying 30 years ago!). Sometimes watch show jumpers in the backline of the prize-giving who turn the horses on small circles/figures of eight to keep horse relaxed. If horse is well trained then sometimes they will revert so need to re-issue instructions to achieving the relaxation

If horse is tense in going round the arena before bell, take out speed & take off pressure, lead rather than push, move foot that has stuck then bend and open outside rein. Need to create pattern of relaxation before so can revert to that. Tristan- there is no magic button, it's about training & prepartion. Don't turn head away and push body towards. Let horse look and step towards scared object through lateral bending, one rein one leg, relax as soon as horse steps sideways with leg.

Never given up on a horse but sometimes the rider/ horse combination isn't going to work.

Michael Klimke

Again working horse in natural rhythm, not too much leg, as long & low as possible always inside to outside rein. Riding strong rhythm in canter. Plenty of breaks. tension in back is main issue to work to reduce. Siting/rising trot & transitions.

Work in trot then close seat & quicken legs to ask more cadence until better reaction. If horse ges too light in contact then take shorter in deep frame and when takes contact then lengthen rein

Trot exercise onto ccentrelibe & immediately sideways in leg yield to open outside shoulder (staying on same rein)

Usually trot to half steps rather than from halt or walk as easier to keep rhythm but with Inuit walk was better

Working pirouettes small & large circles, take away fear of turning then medium on larger circle. Think shoulder in not quarters in to turn shoulders.

Behind the vertical not always a problem as long as stretching into the contact. Can't have no contact as no effective bridge from goblets to mouth. If no bridge then back muscles not working.

Half pass is about cadence & crossing. Rhythm is the most important element inane sideways work hence uses leg yield then half pass.

Richard Davidson

Advanced rider

Assess your horse every day, they change.

Position only valuable in terms of effect, suppleness & balance & influence and choices of using aids..

Stretching has too be long & round not short & deep to stretch muscles.

trot canter transitions, uses slight voice aid, then outside leg back then ask with inside leg to get lift of torso & flexibility with rib cage

Canter leg yield on circle to promote flexibility

Look at torso not just head & neck

Spurs not just for sensitivity & forwardness, it stimulates contraction of muscles in small area. So don't use spur of you need relaxed soft transition.

Contact, rounded wrist & vibrating fingers not using elbows or shoulders or even hands

Leg yield small leg yield & close to girth not back.

Collection is horse bringing body back over hind legs

Half halts can be from different exercises, Rebalancing with body rather than rein

Carl Hester

Advanced horse & rider

Where are the important marks in the GP? :In the canter.

To get uphill then use shoulder in on circle. Half halts only for one stride thinking canter with hind legs, not pushing but hand asking for walk with half halts. When ride forwards out of half halt keep shoulder fore and take sitting with you, don't let him run off hind legs. Must be relaxed in hind legs so avoid injuries, don't push hard. Keep leg light & don't keep pushing if horse not in front of leg. Half halt up & fwds not down and on snaffle not on curb

Corners are where work is done, look for inside eye, no more bend, keep neck open & come out in shoulder fore.

Motivate horse off outside leg before change if changes are croup high. Give aid as foreleg comes down

Teach changes on long side to keep forwards & straight.

Get horse through on snaffle not on curb which is refinement

Quality not quantity.

Downwards trans from canter ask as inside leg is lifting. Must be uphill & consistent, wil never be better in the ring than in training.

Muscles behind saddle must be up & long.

Muddle of horse must be in middle of legs and not be bulging out.

Passage steps, shoulder in touch inside hind leg don't slow down, ride up to passage.

Leg aids vary, Carl uses both legs together at girth & then take both legs back & use together for piaffe. Some use leg further back others use alternate legs.

Stallions, prefer not to keep them entire unless they are to be used for breeding as its not fair. 

Fiona Bigwood & Anders Dahl

Confirmation & desire/character are the majors.

Most injuries are from overdoing it too early in warm up

Likes horse to be lighter in contact esp to inside rein

Uses Piaffe steps for half halts, release hands doesn't mean go forwards, seat releases forwards

Uses lots of shoulder in & Travers & piaffe in corners

Use Travers on short side then get straightness through corner & to ensure holder in coming out

Doesn't count zip zag in training, focuses on quality of canter & changes

Rewards horse after good movement by 20m circle on long rein.

Does 1 tempi changes at end of session , can train in 2 weeks!! By rewarding as last movement before hacking out to cool down, treat them like children enthusiastic to get through work & leave work early.

Adjustabbolity in tempo & expression

Piaffe/passage- rides passage then brings it to a step of piaffe on the spot. Adjust tempo to maintain forwards thought. Need to teach transitions between piaffe & passage not just the 2 movements. Sit lighter in piaffe & deeper in passage. Not always on spot, make it more travelling in piaffe & pushing in passage

Fiona talks to horse all the time esp in orange/passage to help as horse was v hot so preferred not to use leg in orange/passage.

Don't use whip in negative way just to encourage horse to step under more & use in inside hand to encourage hind leg to step under more

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