Welcome to 2017, and with the New Year, we can make plans and goals to work on and achieve.

Most of us start the year, trying to improve our own bodies, with diets or better eating habits, and with stretching exercises, and exercises to make us fitter, and to get the joints moving and build the strength needed in our core muscles.

Our horses have had a slightly easier time and weather permitting, we can now start training again. The first important thought is, that we must organise our work, in such a way that our horses are happy and relaxed in their training. They need to enjoy everything mentally and physically and this can be achieved if we have a method clear in our minds that horses can respond to willingly.

The key words to remember are,

Move forward freely in

Rhythm, relaxation and balance, and maintain the tempo.

For the riders, we need good balance, a soft seat with allowing hips, and the correct aids. We have a variety of different shaped horses, with varying temperaments and characters, but the training points we must remember, apply to them all.

EXERCISES

For the rider, after warming up, take away the stirrup irons and allow your body to just sit with good posture, the seat soft and the leg dropped. Ask no questions except that you can move around your arena in easy balance.

For the horse, ride all the one track figures you know, applying the key words you have to remember.

eg. figure of eight, 5metre loops away from the track, changing out of the corner, changing into the corner and serpentines.

New Year’s Resolution.

Learn to lunge your horse correctly so that they loosen up their muscles and work their bodies in a rounded frame, forward and “through” their backs.