Overcoming spookiness in the dressage arena



https://cdn.wehorse.com/video/stream/0/0/0/0/0/0/6/0/de/images/cover.jpg 2015-03-01T00:00:00+01:00

Advertising along the walls at a competition, a stroller next to the arena, or applause in the prize-giving are just a few things that bring out the spookiness of horses. It is a shame when your horse usually goes well but success at competitions or just the enjoyment of riding is negatively affected by outside disturbances.

Horses are flight animals and we cannot overcome these instincts with pressure and force. A better alternative is to use desensitizing and ground work to give the horse the chance, step by step, to become accustomed to strange situations or approach scary objects.

However, the daily dressage training of more advanced horses also offers many opportunities to practice for various “competition situations”, so that little disturbances in a strange environment don’t become uncontrollable aversions. In this video, you will see some situations where Uta Gräf manages to work not against the spookiness of the horse but also with it towards relaxation and trust with young horses as well as with more advanced one. Uta Gräf “one cannot practice for every situation, but you can get to understand your horse and help him stay relaxed in difficult situations”.

In this video you will learn:

  • What are some typical situations that can bring out the spookiness of your horse in a competition
  • How to reproduce those situations at home with very few materials
  • How powerful can habituation be when it comes to training horses

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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