Tag Archives: Tension in Dressage

The Bit UK – Rider Tension

Rider TensionThe Training Bit

The Bit UK welcomed expert trainers to offer their help, advice and support to their readers across all disciplines, including Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing and Polo.  I was honoured to be included as one of The Bit UK’s trainers.  They describe me as …

“bringing my ground-up opinions and advice to those who look to self help”!

Black Horse
The Dressage Tipster
– Rider Tension

NICOLA DOLBY asked – “I think my main hurdle is rider tension. It effects all aspects of my riding including making me grip, reducing my feel and not taking a consistent contact. This of course has a detrimental effect on my horse’s way of going. This book would really help me sort out this annoying problem!”

My response:

Continue reading The Bit UK – Rider Tension

Tension Mnemonic

I had a note from Anna who is struggling with tension in her horse and all the associated issues and whilst I have regularly written on the subjects of Rhythm and Relaxation it occurred to me that I have not really addressed tension and how to deal with it.

The enemy of harmony is tension; rhythm and relaxation are at the base of the dressage training scale and the biggest challenge to relaxation is tension.  It is both mental and physical the tension that causes tightness in a horse’s body which in turn makes the horse uncomfortable and unhappy.

T – Train

E – Extra Work

N – No Doubt

S – Shallow Loops

I – Inhale, exhale

O – On the side

N – Nurture

The little mnemonic above might help you remember some strategies whilst you are riding, that will assist when the dreaded tension creeps into your riding.

T is for TRAIN

As you ride be aware that you are sitting on your horse’s spine and that spine extends from poll to tail without interruption; just as the muscles do.  The muscles of the top-line: neck, back and croup merge into one another and besides their individual function, work as a whole. Continue reading Tension Mnemonic