Filed under Skills

The Purpose Behind Thumbs Up

I have been reading this brilliant book called Balance in Movement by Susanne Von Dietze (click here for the paperback or hardcover) in which she goes over in depth the biomechanics of rider posture in order to achieve balance while the horse is in movement. Up until reading her book, I always explained the purpose of “thumbs up” as: it … Continue reading

Fun Video Friday: Ahead of and Behind the Motion

This nice little video is from a blog post by CK Training/Callie called “Are you “Ahead of” or “Behind” the Motion when you ride horses?”. It offers a good visual example of what this looks like, and what causes it. I think it will be helpful for newer instructors. Enjoy! **************** Note: This is not professional … Continue reading

Posting on the Correct Diagonal

Recently some of my riders have gotten good enough at posting that I’ve started teaching them posting on the correct diagonal. I learned by rising with the outside shoulder, however some of my riders have had a hard time with this method. So I did some research and here are the whats whys and hows … Continue reading

Sitting Trot: Lesson Plan by Linda

One of the goals of this blog is to help people pass certification to become a therapeutic riding instructor, and it is so neat to hear when this happens! A reader named Linda wrote me several weeks ago about how much this blog helped her prepare, then followed up by letting me know she passed her certification … Continue reading

Theories on Riding Progression

Where should you start with teaching beginners? Here are some thoughts that have been floating around in my mind about teachings methods. First is the USDF Pyramid of Training, which works the horse and riding up the training tree: The training tree starts with Rhythm and Relaxation. However, Lauren Baker of Dressage for Mere Mortals writes that … Continue reading

Fun Video Friday: Leg Aids

This Fun Video Friday’s pick is from the Randi Thompson Youtube Station. It is about leg aids, in particular about using your calf instead of your heel to ask for forward motion. At least watch the first few minutes, as she gives a great example of talking the rider through using her calf and alternating leg use. If you … Continue reading

Skill: Timing the Application of Aids

I recently read an interesting article called “Kindergarten Exercises to Learn the Aids” by George Williams with Beth Baumert on Dressage Today, which you can read by clicking here. It is a series of exercises “for horses and riders needing to learn more about the rhythmic application and timing of aids”. I thought the exercises … Continue reading

Correcting a Rocking Upper Body

(aka “How to have a calm upper body”) Causes of a rocking upper body: Exaggeratedly following horse’s movement An insecure seat Incorrectly think it will achieve a strong driving aid and balanced seat – they try to move the horse like they moved a rocking horse in their childhood Pinched knees, not enough weight in … Continue reading