Helios journey to becoming a dressage horse Part 1: Collecting the horse

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In this training series, we watch as Uta Gräf works with Helios, a 7-year-old gelding on his way to becoming a successful dressage horse. In this first video, collecting exercises are used to prepare the horse for more technical movements such as lateral work and flying changes.

Helios is a fairly uncomplicated horse. This series will follow his progress at regular intervals - every few months - so that we can watch his development. With her systematic training system, Uta Gräf helps the gelding increase his strengths as well as gradually overcoming and improving his weaknesses, turning him into a successful dressage horse.

In this first video, Helios is on his way to Medium level dressage. The training goal is for him to improve the flying changes as well as the lateral work. In order to prepare for those technical exercises, Uta Gräf works on collecting the horse using transitions on the straight line and on the circle.

When working on these exercises Uta is careful not to ride them excessively, with the work becoming monotonous but instead rewarding and motivating the gelding with something different tasks as soon as an exercise is done well. Collecting exercises can be difficult for the horse and breaks are a great time to allow them to stretch and make sure they feel good before continuing the training.

Further videos in this series: 
Helios journey to becoming a dressage horse Part 2: Trot work & half pass
Helios journey to becoming a dressage horse Part 3: Riding with a double bridle
Helios journey to becoming a dressage horse Part 4: Training strength & self-carriage

You will learn in this video:

  • What are the things you need to take care of while working with a double bridle
  • How to prevent your horse from anticipating your demands while training dressage
  • Why you should introduce the exercises on the side that is easier for your horse

Uta Gräf

Uta Gräf made a name for herself on the international stage with her sensitive riding. Through her unusual combination of high-level dressage riding and allowing her horses to live as naturally as possible. She has become a role model for changing attitudes towards the horse and dressage for the better. 

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