There is a downside to all of this saddle seat riding. I have gotten so adapted to having the horse’s head UP in front of me that the stretchy circle is going to come as a shock.

Stretching the Frame … lengthen the reins as the horse stretches gradually forward and downward.

Emphasis mine. The idea is to demonstrate relaxation of the back and acceptance of the bit, AFAIK. For an alternative interpretation and a line drawing of the maneuver, see The Dressage Curmudgeon: The Stretchy Circle. Like the nipples on batman’s suit.

Therefore, one must adjust to the horse’s head disappearing. I discovered this because …

… drumroll …

… I have been sitting on Rodney. The operative word here is sitting. We don’t move, that is the point. We shift into park and watch Milton work. When Rodney buys into the relaxation, he will give a major yawn and stretch his head. Gulp.

We have moved a bit. One day, we did a set of weave poles. This was a conflict for the poor horse. He loves his poles. (Really, really, loves them. To a pornographic degree. Although he has stopped flirting with me. [Speciesism]) He is less enamored of riding. He is not at sure what to think of riding 😦 through poles 🙂 . As with with all things Rodney, the work is 99% mental.

Milton has been lunging. Yeah Milton. He also long-lined. It did not go well. Green horse, green driver. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Truck and trailer have both moved. Next step is power-washing, lights, & a test drive.

Service to reader section
50 Ways To Get Eliminated: Or what not to do at a dressage show

5 thoughts on “Headset

  1. I agree with Joan.
    But on the subject of long-lining, many years ago I decided that this was a skill I needed to acquire, so I tacked up a quiet pony for lunging & attached two sets of lines.
    One hopeless tangled mess and one extremely flipped-out formerly quiet pony later I decided that maybe this skill was less important than I had thought.
    I’ve survived without it ever since.

  2. In the Jane Savoie audio CDs I listen to constantly in my car, she says stretching down is a “check” to see how well your half-halt has gone through when you are first training your horse to go on the bit. Let him chew the reins out of your hands – does he do it at all? If not, half-halt went through 0%. Does he hesitate and then go down? Went through about 50%. If he stretches forward & down right away, it went through 100%. I read the full article on your link and she seems to utterly disagree with that train of thought. But as a check for a greener horse, I think it’s a good one.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: