In the Netherlands in the old days you could only wear a top hat and use a double bridle when you reached advanced level. To get there you needed
We have already talked about the motivations of a horse, which have to do with his herd behaviour and the fact that he is a prey animal. This is closely
Every person has a natural behavioural preference. A way of doing things. That is anchored in our brains. A person is able to adapt this behaviour to
In your life you come across people who cause a breakthrough. I thought I already knew a lot about horses. I had already competed internationally and
I live on the Isle of Texel in the north of Holland. Horse riding on the beach is a dream for many and it is exactly that…. I do it often. It is great,
Can you please not talk about horses?
This is a regular comment of my family. I fail all the time. I never really wondered where this fascination – let’s say addiction- comes from. I
All the points of the Skala of Dressage are important. But one that always troubles me the most is straightness.
Like a human being every horse is crooked by nature. Which gets worse when we crooked people sit on their backs. And it is your duty as a rider to make
Engagement can be explained as forward energy, ask for and controlled by the rider, delivered by the horse without tension. The horse moves forward freely, swinging his hindlegs more under his body with each stride. This engagement is necessary for the correct contact.
A lot of times this is confused with going fast. It has nothing to do with speed. A horse can go very slow and be super engaged (collection), whereas
The next item in the Scala of Dressage is the contact. Also a matter that causes a lot of confusion. With contact in riding we mean the elastic connection between the hand of the rider and the mouth of the horse. The connection is made by the rider but -and this is where it gets difficult- accepted and sought by the horse. So it means that the rider should take up the reins, but the horse then has to reach for the contact and be soft and light…
Why on earth would he do so? Well, it is not just a simple matter of the front end and things you do with your hands. Oh no, contact is so much more.
The scala of dressage states a horse should move freely forward with natural movements in all gaits. ‘Relaxation’ is the next point. And it can be quite confusing. If a horse is truly relaxed, it is asleep.
You need a certain muscle tone to perform. Relaxation in de scala is working without tension. But not only the absence of tension, it is also a state