BUT THEN THERE are the ponies and people weighing up the dull winter weather. Happy to be back teaching this weekend!
One kind reminder: About the higher frame. (Not related to above photo, where Aragon is in a free frame). In order to improve the balance of the horse it is necessary to raise the head and neck. This can be achieved only with the increase of correct collection. The connection between raising the head and neck – and collection is one of the most misinterpreted notions of equestrian art. The degree to which the neck can be raised will be decided by the conformation and strength of the horse, and it will be less with a horse that is weak in the hindquarters and the back. If the rider demands a higher frame then the horse is ready for – the horse will drop his back under the weight of the rider, show discomfort for going forward or no longer be able to bring his hind legs under his body.
To strengthen the back the horse needs to carry his rider with a straight back and seek contact with the bit by lowering his head. Only then will the rider, by use of the pushing aids, be able to make the horse step more under his body with the hind legs. There are no horses that are “leg aid numb” with this preparation. Then, by focusing more and more of the energy towards the back the hind legs will be able to come more under the body- and the head, neck and back will be able to come into a higher position, in relation to the back. In collection.
Photo by Zoe Miles, of Aragon and me in week 22. As always wearing Equestrian Stockholm and Stübben tip to toe.