Developing a Soft, Steady Contact and Throughness



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Now that we have developed rhythm and relaxation during the dressage work in the initial training phase, we move along the training scale to the second phase. We work on establishing a steady contact, a soft and rubbery connection between the rider’s hands and the horse’s mouth that receives the energy from the horse’s hindquarters. This supports the development of pushing power.

Callas is a 4-year-old Hanovarian mare at the very beginning of her training as an eventer. She is still a bit excited at the beginning of her training sessions. That’s why Ingrid Klimke rides her with a softly connected rein during warm-up, asks for active forward movement, and starts asking the mare to stretch forward and down. The working phase shows that the mare is still a little unsteady in the contact. A great tool to avoid solving contact issues with the hands is bridging the reins. Walk-trot transitions and half halts increase throughness. In addition, Klimke employs some initial walk-canter transitions, counter canter, halt transitions, and standing quietly and squarely at the halt.

Further videos in this series: 

You will learn in this video:

  • How to improve contact by riding actively forward
  • How to bridge the reins for quieter hands and a soft connection
  • How to half halt correctly and improve halt transitions

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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