The joy of dressage Part 2: Keeping a horse motivated



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It is important to Uta Gräf that the training is tailored individually to each horse and to their mood or motivation on that particular day. A training plan doesnt mean following the plan to the letter but to work in a way that helps develop the horse towards your long-term goals.

Uta Gräf shows us with her Grand Prix horse, Le Noir, how she trains the experienced stallion without making him bored. The working phase begins with exercises that he finds easy, as doing something well motivates the horse and the rider. Brief intervals ensure variation and attentiveness. Regular breaks are also very important. They are not only a positive sign for the horse that they have done something well but also provide a chance for the rider to check if their horse is relaxed in body and mind and to prepare for the next exercise.

Le Noir is especially fine to ride and Uta Gräf shows how she approaches her training to make the aids as subtle as possible so that even the most difficult exercises can be ridden with one hand. As an example of the training schedule of a horse that is still at the beginning of his dressage education, we watch the 6-year-old Damon Jerome NRW being ridden. Riding a horse that is forward going and motivated during his everyday training makes the work of the rider easier and will often result in a much more harmonious and enjoyable ride in the competition arena. 

You will learn in this video:

  • What you can do to keep an experienced horse motivated
  • How by working consistently at home the horses work just as well in a strange environment
  • The emphasis on keeping the horses relaxed throughout their work

Further videos in this series: 

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. 

> more

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