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You’re missing out if you aren’t subscribed to Dressage Today. This is my favorite part of each issue.

  1. To keep from slumping or slouching while riding, imagine taht you have an open parachute strapped to your back. The pull of the air in the parachute keeps your shoulder blades together and tall. This imagery will help you maintain your upper-body position as your horse moves underneath you.”
  2. To improve your feel for correct contact, imagine how it feels to push a shopping cart slightly downhill. You need just a little restraint to keep the cart from rolling away, but you need to maintain the idea of forward motion.”
  3. To change direction and balance on the new outside rein, imagine two runners in a relay passing a baton from one to the other. The first doesn’t just drop the baton in to the second runner’s hand, there is a moment when they both have a steady but yielding grip. When changing direction, allow your horse a moment of equal pressure on both reins before balancing him on the new outside rein. This will make a steadier and better balanced change of direction.
My trainer has a bunch of these plastered on the wall leading to the arena, it’s always nice to glance over and have a gentle reminder of a few things before getting on!
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