Experiment alert… welcome to the first, June 2018 edition, of Link Love! This is going to be a bit different of a format, but I do want to share with you some of the things that have caught my interest around the interwebz recently. They just might interest you, too!
Courage and Fear
First up, an article that really speaks to me. I think it will speak to every rider, really. This short article comes from EventingNation.com, and is about defining courage, and the role of courage in overcoming fear.
Research on Saddle Flaps and Rider Stability
Here is an intriguing article on research done on saddle flaps, and how they influence rider stability in the saddle.
On Introducing Shoulder-In
Here is a short training article via Dressage Today, putting the focus on shoulder-in. Of particular interest to me, with my mile-wide DIY streak, is the list of prerequisites to help you check your foundation before you tackle this gateway lateral/collected movement. Initially, as we build communication with our horses, we teach “syllables,” whoa, go, and turn. From there, we put those together into “words” like half halt (go plus whoa) and bend (go plus turn). In many, many ways, shoulder-in is the first “sentence” we teach the horse. This excellent guide not only explains how to introduce this sentence, but how to make sure that your horse understands the words you’ll be using in that sentence, too.
Triple Crown History – Made!
Just in case you haven’t watched all three of Justify’s Triple Crown trips a million times already…
Lateral Flexion: Mind Blown
And this is an article that I cannot wait to take into the arena.
Confession time… I used to be quite gung-ho about drilling NH Guru Style lateral flexion. However, in the past couple of years I’ve largely ignored the issue, especially on my older horse with the more formal training background. Even in the kits, the lateral flexion exercise never seems to “tie” to a next step beyond a one-rein-stop or a form of face-focused vertical flexion that always seemed way to handsy for my taste.
Where this article triggered a lightbulb for me was in reconnecting the focus of the flexion to the poll. The graphic showing the true flexion point occurring halfway down the neck, far from the poll, is a real eye-opener. The point of the exercise isn’t about stretching the horse’s neck sideways. It’s about releasing, almost massaging, the muscles surrounding the poll. Once these muscles relax and the poll joints become soft, lateral flexion can naturally evolve into correct vertical flexion without putting the focus on the hands and without putting the horse into an unnatural posture.
On Horses in the Wild
And last but not least, I stumbled across this intriguing article on the findings of long-term observation of equine behavior in the wild. This is a bit longer of a read, but absolutely fascinating.
So that is the first edition of Link Love! Have you come across any articles, news pieces, or videos along the interwebz recently that have made you stop and think? If you have, share in the comments! And now, off to the barn… I should be riding!