“Dressage – the joy of  a horse  moving freely forward .”

Once you and your horse get five first tier basics worked out, the rest just falls in place.

• The Five First Tier Basics are - go, stop, turn in, move out, and soften.  They are the notes on our scale.  Once you and your horse have these you can create any melody or chord you choose.  Although I’m separating them out, they have always been at the core of all dressage training.  

• The ideal figure for your horse to learn on is his Natural Circle. Similar to the classical “volte” of dressage, the size of this circle is based on his size and conformation.  This is ideal because the circle itself helps the horse learn to bend, balance, keep a steady tempo and reach out to the bit.  Without this circle you have to teach him all of that.  For very experienced riders that works.  However for students who haven’t figured that out for themselves yet, it often leads to years of frustration.  

• We are all shaped differently so rather than getting crammed into a theoretical shape that doesn’t fit you, your correct position is the one in which you are secure, balanced and comfortable.  This principal is true when using your aids too.  It is more important that you ride in a relaxed, comfortable way than in some theoretically “correct” way.

• Half-halts are something you teach the horse to do, not something you do to the horse.

• All of this and much more is covered in Mikes books and videos.  Mike is available for lessons and clinics world wide, both in person and online.

Contact Mike directly for more information.

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Mike Schaffer Dressage