Helios is now 8 years old and Uta Gräf has just started getting him used to the double bridle. As we saw in the first part of this series, Helios has the tendency to shorten his neck and curl behind the bit. Through systematic training, his acceptance of the bit and contact with the hand has improved greatly, and he seems just as happy working in the double bridle.
During the warming up, Uta Gräf makes sure Helios reaches for the hand by himself and develops a swinging forward going trot. The working phase starts with trot-walk transitions, with Uta Gräf making sure he stays open through the poll and preventing him from bringing his nose behind the vertical.
Transition within and between paces are an important part of the training. Uta always makes sure that the horse stays in front of the bit by using her hands as subtly as possible. The fine use of the aids is very important while working with a double bridle and Uta focuses on riding each movement using just as much hand and leg aids as it feels necessary.
You will learn in this video:
Further videos in this series:
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.> more
Once the basics of rhythm and suppleness have been established it is time to work on contact, as the next phase of the riding training. A steady contact should consist of a soft connection between the hands of the rider and the mouth of the horse. Pulling the head is never the solution. The movement should come from behind resulting in a horse that comes through the body to the bit and hands.
Duration: 16:26 Minutes
Philippe Karl gives us not only a theoretical understanding but also explains how to put this into practice, today teaching a horse the canter transitions. He uses various arena figures and lateral work to help the horse. It is interesting to watch how the French Master teaches the flying changes, from working canter to counter canter on a circle. A high degree of collection is necessary before commencing the canter pirouettes.
Duration: 21:19 Minutes
The 5-year-old Saint Ledger has only just started his basic training. In this lesson, we concentrate on familiarising him to the rider’s aids and despite being in an unfamiliar environment, relaxing in his body and mind.
Duration: 09:08 Minutes
The desire of the horse to go forward, combined with bending the hindquarters is the basis of a good piaffe. Philippe Karl uses various exercises to teach his horses the piaffe and bring them into perfect balance. Every horse can learn to passage correctly when one sensitively combines the Spanish walk with the trot, something the world-renowned trainer has seen continually happen over the years.
Duration: 21:17 Minutes
Once the horse has been familiarised to the effects of the double bridle on the ground, Philippe Karl then continues this from the saddle. He rides using the Fillis hold, enabling the use of the two bits separately.
Duration: 09:16 Minutes