What could anyone write about dressage that hasn’t already been written about hundreds
of times before?
Basics that are more basic
Basics have always been defined as qualities such as rhythm, tempo, bend, and forward—but
those are basic qualities not the training basics you need to develop them. Riding
in the Moment shows that everything in riding begins with Five First Tier Basics:
go, stop, turn in, move out, and soften. You can achieve these real basics with your
horse and then use them to develop the qualities that have been labeled as “basics”
in the past.
Aids that give more aid
Traditionally the “aids” are only explained in their ideal form—how a rider on a
fully trained horse uses his hands, seat and legs to ask for the various figures
and movements. Mike explains how and when to use “corrections” that are "clear,
effective, and over with" and “cognitive aids” that rely on the horse's understanding
of them for their effectiveness. These techniques and the Five First Tier Basics
are then used to teach your horse to reach softly out to the hand so riding with
ideal, classical aids is possible.
Figures that help them figure it out
So many riders never get past the lower levels because they’re trying to use the
figures from the tests as training tools. These figures are good tests but they’re
not terribly useful for training - this is why the 20 meter circle is known as the
“eternal circle.” This system relies on figures that will help you find your horse's
natural circle. Using that will help him learn to bend, balance, and move freely
forward under saddle. From this starting point, the other more advanced figures
and exercises are easily achievable.