Pam Millar

Dressage Trainer


Classical, sympathetic, personalised training

for you and your horse




Mobile: 07740 116 336

Home: 01651 872613

A British Dressage Accredited Trainer

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Straightness (click on "training tips" above for more)

A common complaint I get when meeting a new horse and rider is that “he won’t go forward” or “he is sluggish”. While for some, this requires sharpening up the responses to leg aids (See Training Tip on Responsiveness), for many more, it is related to the horse being stiff and crooked.  If you try lifting and tensing one shoulder and then try to run forward in a straight line, then relax your shoulder and try the same exercise again, I am sure you will find that you can run much easier when your shoulder (and the rest of your body) is relaxed and symmetrical. Combine this with the feeling that one leg is stiffer than the other and you can then imagine how many horses feel when you ask them to trot forward in a nice swinging rhythm. The simple route to solving this problem is through suppling exercises. By riding lots of circles, spirals, serpentines and leg yielding while concentrating on the quality of the bend and the change of bend you will be surprised how much easier your horse moves freely forwards. You should find this over the course of one training session, but it will obviously keep getting better over time if you keep using the correct exercises and  focus on the quality of the bending. By enabling your horse to bend, he will become straighter and by being straighter, he will move forward much more easily and freely.