This video and summary was shared by Lene Særmark, a young trainer in Denmark, who has generously shared her clip and experience with us.
These clips are being shared so that you can see how Manolo teaches uses different figures to make learning easier for the horse and what POSTURE he wants the horses traveling at this level of training.
We have written articles about training progression and when to introduce lateral work here.
Please do not try to run before you can walk. The time you spend developing your horse’s suppleness, straightness, balance and rhythm will make introducing this next steps of training much easier on your horse and you.
LENE’s LESSON SUMMARY
Blue and I worked a little on shoulder forth and shoulder in, both in walk and trot during our lessons. Manolo taught us how to use both these lateral movements to help improve different figures and exercises.
We practiced in different places in the arena and aimed to get Blue’s shoulders positioned better on three track, help him move more freely through his body, optimize his diagonal pairing and help him keep a good posture during gait transitions and from one movement to another. One way was to begin riding a 20 meter half circle and at the centerline make it to a 15 meter half circle and then shoulder in to the track.
This helped us get the right bend through Blues body and helped him travel on 3 tracks with outside front leg and inside hind leg on the same track. We also worked on keeping him in a good posture in walk, then slowing down a bit, leaving the rein neutral, and only using my leg as aids to make the transition to trot. Fiddling with the rein will cause the horse to get crooked and raise his neck through the transition, so putting the hands forward a bit will give the horse room to lower and stretch its neck, giving the back and hind legs the freedom to push the horse into trot without tension or blockage.
Blue has had some crookedness and a lot of stiffness, therefore correct bend to the left has been difficult, so a big circle in the middle of the arena, using inside hand low and close to the withers, outside hand forward and out a little and with very light contact, and inside leg close to him, helped Blue find the bend and better posture. Always asking gently and patiently, not pushing or pulling, but letting Blue find the way.