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Training for the rider

 I believe that work in hand is an essential skill for both horse and rider. It will help you develop the coordination, posture, and balance necessary for effective riding. I focus on educated hands to improve your overall performance. Work in-hand  will help you and your horse work together more effectively, leading to better coordination, posture, and confidence in the saddle.


Flexions are key to effective riding. I take pride in teaching riders about flexions and how to establish correct contact and communication with their horse. 

When we first learn to ride the education of the hands isn't detailed enough, we are taught to hold the reins, told to keep the hands down and that's about it!  It's crucial for riders to understand that the primary use of the hand is to help the horse relax and communicate effectively. Our hands  connect to the most sensitive parts of the horse's mouth so we need time to understand how too ’speak this language with our hands.

The classical seat.

What does it mean to have a classical seat?

This style of riding is based around the principles developed by classical riding masters throughout history and is often appreciated for its elegance, harmony and effectiveness in communicating with the horse. 

It involves a deep and secure seat, relaxed yet poised body alignment and correct hand and leg position. Using subtle and refined aids to communicate with the horse.

So how can we achieve this? We need to observe the horses movement and pay attention to how they walk, trot and canter.

With many years of experience, I’ve found that arm posture plays a significant role in improving the seat and overall position on the horse. 

 By first addressing the arm position and improving the riders awareness to carry the reins and not just hold them creates a greater stability in the riders position. The rider should also have the feeling of giving the hands to the horse and not rely on the hands to stay in balance.

Weight aids

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Halfpass to the left, weight aid to the left.

Learning how to use weight aids is crucial to achieving finesse in riding. As riders, we must be aware that our horses feel any shifts in our weight and it can either benefit or hinder them.  We must communicate with our horses through subtle cues and one of the most effective is through our weight aids. Correct weight aids ensure that our horses understand the direction we want to take.  When circling to the left, riders should shift their weight to the left to match the direction of the horse. If the horse becomes unbalanced and falls in, riders may need to shift their weight to the outside momentarily. Once the horse is balanced again, the weight aid should be moved back to the inside. Imagine walking with a heavy rucksack on your back where the weight is evenly distributed and you are walking in a straight line. However, if the weight shifts to the left, it would become difficult to carry on walking straight and easier to step to the left. This same concept applies to riding horses.

Most schools of thought have the same ideas about weight aids apart from the shoulder-in. Some riders are taught to ride the shoulder-in with the weight to the inside. Let me explain why this will not make sense to the horse and probably why most riders find this very useful movement difficult.

When we ride a circle to the left or when we ride halfpass to the left our weight aid and bend will be the same, to the left. When we ride shoulder-in to the left it will not make sense to the horse if we sit to the left. Simply because we don't want the horse to leave the outside track. If we do sit left it will have the heavy ruck sack effect and cause the rider to use stronger inside aids to keep the horse on the track. Instead, if we sit to the right this will compliment the direction we want to travel. We always ride with the weight aid the same as the direction of travel and not always the same direction as the bend.

Shoulder-in to the left, weight aid to the right.
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