Develop a soft and steady contact through correct riding



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Riding your horse with a soft but constant contact is the next step of the training. It can be introduced once the horse is able to move on the flatwork with suppleness, in a constant rhythm. A good contact is a steady and light connection between the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth, that helps regulate the movement and power from the hind end.

Callas is a 4-year-old Hanoverian mare that is just beginning her training as an event horse. At the beginning of the training session, she is often a little bit energetic and tensed. Therefore, Ingrid warms her up with slightly longer reins and concentrates on having active paces with the result that the mare starts to stretch forward and down. In the warming-up phase, we can see that the mare is still unsteady in the contact. A good tip to avoid trying to solve contact problems with your hands is to bridge the reins. Walk-trot transitions and half halts help with the horse working through the body into the hand. Walk-canter transitions, a little counter-canter, as well as completely halting and standing quietly in a square halt are also great riding exercises to reach a soft and steady contact.

 

Further videos in this series: 

 

You will learn in this video:

  • How you can improve the contact by riding on a forward movement
  • How to bridge the reins to keep your hands quiet and the horse happier
  • How to improve the transitions to halt

Ingrid Klimke

She is an Olympic Gold Medallist and World Champion and is following in the footsteps of her famous father, dressage legend Reiner Klimke. Ingrid Klimke is one of the few professional riders in the world that is successful at an international level in both eventing as well as dressage.

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