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Rider's position and rider's influence fineness

REF HA41, flat work, rider's position, Turns, Ground pole exercise, Understanding between horse and rider

In this session, Michel teaches Pierre who is riding Quatmandou, a 9 year old gelding.   
Pierre is in control of his horse, but he has a tendency to overly constraint his horse with his legs and hands. The goal of this session is to obtain lighter aids from the rider in a manner as to let Quatmandou move with more freedom. In the end, Pierre will gain in efficiency by letting his horse express his full potential.


Michel makes Pierre and Quatmandou work on some ground poles placed in a circle.  As already discussed, working over ground poles is an excellent way to verify if the parameters of speed, track, and balance can be maintained.


At first, Michel explains Pierre how to get his horse to stretch down his neck with a minimum of influence. Little by little Quatmandou starts to trust the rider’s hand, and is seeking for the connection. This movement of stretching the whole horse’s muscle mass and his joints is an essential step toward the collection.

During the exercise, we noticed that Quatmandou wanders off the circle. Michel offers a very efficient solution by only working on Pierre’s position.

The session continues by going over a ground pole at a canter. The priority is to maintain a given speed and a precise path. Nonetheless, Pierre has to work on his position in order to follow the jump whatever the stride and spot.

Michel explains Pierre how to set his mind to better anticipate his actions and to follow the priorities given for the exercise.

To remember:

. The rider has to act as little as possible and needs to alternate requests and releases.

.  Successful rider’s influence starts with a positive mind set image:  a successful canter depart, a successful turn, a perfect jump…