44th in a series
After focusing on collection the last issue, we can move ahead into some new skills.
Now that you’ve established some body control in your horse with the exercises you’ve worked on in the previous levels, it’s time to start doing something really fun! The turnaround, when it’s done well, can be one of the most exciting parts of a reining pattern, both to ride and to watch!
43rd in a series
After sharing insight on components of collection last issue, Les points out cause and effect of key obstacles.
In my clinics I run into a lot of horses that are fairly advanced but often they have got a hole in them. And the common problem and the common fix are going to be the same and it’s the neck. Often times these horses have an attitude in certain places. Every now and then they decide to rebel, to defy you. And what area of the horse shows defiance first? The neck! If it stiffens up, it’s the first signal that you are about to go for a ride that you’re not asking for.
42nd in a series
Last issue, Les outlined the importance of a soft neck and poll in collection. Here, he gives insight on what to look for.
41st in a series
After defining collection and our objectives in working towards it, Les offers pointers this issue as the work gets under way.
Without a soft neck and poll, collection is impossible, so if you still have any resistance in the neck during any of the exercises that we’ve done so far, go back and work on them.
40th in a series
After last issue’s look at alignment, Les begins detailed instruction on collection.
- To concentrate on driving your horse from the back with your legs, in order to create a soft, round frame.
- To continue to integrate the concept of 50 percent hands/50 percent legs into your riding.
- To learn how to handle a tough or belligerent horse.
- To learn about the elevator bit and how it can help you in your training program.
39th in a series
After getting tips last issue on handling our horse’s attentiveness, Les now gives us some “straightforward” hints.
Start at a walk in a straight line. Make sure your hands are evenly spaced out in front of you and that your legs are relaxed. As you move along, I want you to concentrate on feeling what the horse is doing rather than watching for problems.
If you feel the horse start to bow or lean in either direction, use your hands and legs to get him straight again. If it helps, fix your eyes on something in the distance and make sure he stays moving straight toward it.
38th in a series
This issue, Les points out that patience and discernment are keys when your horse’s attention veers.
Sometimes when you’re riding you’re going to lose your horse’s attention. I say don’t make a big deal out of it. Some might not see as well as others, or may be more spooky, especially as far as young horses go, when they go off to the Bahamas every now and then; leave it alone and it goes away. Be patient.
37th in a series
After looking at hip control last issue, Les reviews with us some pointers on backing up.
36th in a series
After looking with Les at Body Control exercise on the fence last issue, we look at a new exercise involving hip control.
35th in a series
Last issue, Les presented a pair of exercises aimed at ribcage and hip control on the fence. This week we continue with awareness of lead-changing with the back leg first.
Exercise number three is basically sidepassing, but it will have one big difference for most of you. While most novice riders start sidepassing by moving the shoulders and catching up with the hips, I’m not going to let you do it that way.