Are you aware of the power of working your horse in a long and low frame?
I am making a clear distinction here between Long, deep and round – Low, deep and round – and Long and Low. Because my horse is young, 80% of my training is done in a long and low frame with the poll never coming above the level of the withers until the last 10 minutes of the session.
So, how do you achieve a long and low frame?
Allow your horse walk on a long rein and when you take up the contact, take it slowly, maintaining soft, following hands on a longer rein that you usually school with.
When ready for trot ensure it is forward (this is essential), keep your hands low, use your fingers to squeeze and release the inside rein. Ideally your horse will drop his head for a stride or two and travel with a round frame. You want him to seek the bit forward, you need to maintain a contact but do not hold the horse together, if all is well he will offer to stretch down but you must give and react quickly enough to ensure that your horse is rewarded for his efforts.
If you get a bit wobbly in your seat it’s because you are relying on your hands for balance! This is BAD and another good reason to work your horse long and low is to improve your own balance and reduce dependence upon your hands.
You will definitely know if you have got it. Your horses back will lift up to your seat. This lifting sensation is unmistakeable and exactly as described. Sensational!
This is an emotive subject … see pictures and feel free to comment.
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster