A Fresh Look

Dressage Today - - Inside Dt -

Ev­ery now and then it’s good to change things up a bit. As you know, Dres­sage To­day re­cently added a new video sub­scrip­tion site— dres­sage­to­day­on­line.com—to its brand. With that new ad­di­tion, we’ve de­cided to freshen up the mag­a­zine’s look a bit, too. But rest as­sured, the content hasn’t changed. In fact, we re­cently sent out a reader’s survey to find out what you—our read­ers—want to see in the pages of DT. (Hope­fully, many of you had the op­por­tu­nity to com­pelete the survey.) Over­all, I think our team is pro­vid­ing the content you want. But we lis­tened and will con­tinue to im­prove on the sto­ries we bring you.

In this month’s is­sue you will find train­ing ar­ti­cles to help you im­prove con­nec­tion, men­tally and phys­i­cally, with your horse. In “De­vel­op­ing a Happy Horse,” in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tor Karen Pavi­cic dis­cusses how to cre­ate a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship with your dres­sage part­ner. She be­lieves it’s pos­si­ble to nur­ture your horse so that he en­joys his time with you both in and out of the tack. She says, “[Your horse’s] gen­eral well-be­ing, men­tal calm­ness and re­lax­ation should be as­sessed on an on­go­ing ba­sis.” Pavi­cic sug­gests that you start by eval­u­at­ing your re­la­tion­ship with your horse be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter a ride. She says that if you feel there is more strug­gle and less har­mony go­ing on de­spite your best ef­forts, it’s time to change how you’re do­ing things. She of­fers tips, in­clud­ing how to work with your horse be­fore you even mount up, and dis­cusses how a big part of her pro­gram is main­tain­ing con­sis­tency and pro­vid­ing the horse with con­fi­dence. Be sure to read her full story on p. 30.

This month’s “Tips from Train­ers Who Teach” comes from U.S. Olympian Al­li­son Brock. In “Soft Arms for a Bet­ter Con­nec­tion,” Brock em­pha­sizes that when you’re rid­ing all your joints should be sup­ple and mov­able. “The bend in the el­bow al­lows elas­tic­ity for­ward and back­ward to fol­low the horse’s mouth ev­ery step,” she says. “In the walk and can­ter, the horse biome­chan­i­cally has to move the neck for­ward and back. Cre­at­ing this elas­tic con­nec­tion means you’re not hold­ing the horse on the bit—pulling his head down and hold­ing it there. You are rid­ing him out to the bit and on the bit.” From there, she shares how to achieve cor­rect con­tact by sug­gest­ing that you keep your hands in a work space in front of you so you can move elas­ti­cally and fol­low the horse’s mouth with bent arms. Don’t miss her story start­ing on p. 26.

We hope you en­joy this is­sue and, of course, our new look. And if you didn’t get the re­cent reader’s survey, please don’t ever hes­i­tate to email us with your thoughts and sug­ges­tions. We’re lis­ten­ing!

Un­til next time,

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