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Articles by Kerry Mack

Last week we started to talk about the flying changes, and how to introduce them in a friendly way to a green horse, before the horse is really ready to train them. Lets talk about actually training the changes. Some principles apply.

Always start by changing onto the supple side, most horses right to left. Train one side at a time, eg flying change right to left, simple change left to...

The winter is a quieter time for competitions and we find it is an excellent opportunity to train the movements above the level the horses are competing. for our younger horses its time to introduce the flying changes, or very gently introducing the work towards piaffe. For the jumping horses its a time for grids and gymnastic jumping. Of course its always time for flat work for jumping...

Now the winter solstice has passed and the spring shows are on our minds, it is the season for clipping our shaggy companions into sleeker versions of themselves so they cool down faster after work and don't get chilled with wet coats covered in rugs, and so their spring coats show up earlier.

Clipping is an awful job. Horses often hate the clippers, its awkward and you get itchy hair...

You will no doubt be aware of the ongoing debate about whether modern competition dressage has lost its way and diverged too far from the principles of classical dressage preserved at the classical schools such as the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the Cadre Noir at Sanur in France. These principles are recorded in the modern writings of people such as Podjhasky, going back to the...

We all spend most of our time training the horse, not competing. Training can either be a repetition of what we have always done or we can be diligently trying to improve the work all the time. I find the thing that keeps riding interesting year after year is the training, finding better ways to explain to the horse, finding ways to make the work more expressive, how to preserve the basic...

In summary:
what to do:

after the test ask the judge for feedback, take your tests, video, and a good frame of mind.
Do listen. If the response doesn't satisfy you then you can send the test sheets to the state judges committee (care of your state office) and ask for their help.
Don't be abusive, don't say inappropriate things on social media
One of the really...

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