J.J. Tate assisting Kaitlin Blythe with her 6 year-old mare Eden at 2nd level

Posted by admin On September - 16 - 2016

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Dressageclinic.com is pleased to present this video of J.J. Tate, assisting her assistant trainer Kaitlin Blythe aboard Eden, a 6 year-old mare acquired by Kaitlin a year prior to the filming of this video.  This video is loaded with great teachings which J.J. has received from her long experience of training horses.  Grab your notebook because J.J. Tate has a packed lesson full of valuable knowledge on the fundamentals of their program that consistently develop strong, supple, and engaged horses.

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Watch here to see J.J. Tate assist Kaitlin Blythe with her 6 year-old mare Eden at 2nd Level 

Here are the top 5 teachings that J.J. Tate transfers to all her horses and students in her riding program which are described in this video:

1.Take The Time to Warm-up With The Walk

 “I never want the horses to feel I’m rushing through their program,” says Tate. 

She shares that with horses, especially energetic horses, it is always important to let them know that you are never in a rush to get them ready.  She explains that when the horse feels they have the time to walk in the warm up, the horses’ emotional outlook on life and their spiritual wellbeing never suffers.  

2. Adjust Your Three Dials

J.J. shares the teachings she credits receiving from her mentor and dressage legend Charles de Kunffy where we want to be able adjust three major ‘dials’ or aspects of the horse’s movement. 

The first dial is frame length of the horse, which allows the horse’s length very long to very short or in show frame.  Second ‘dial’ is is stride length that allows the horse to have the range of performing a piaffe or pirouette canter to an extended trot or extended canter.  Finally, the third dial is bend or straightness of the horse.  All three dials must be adjustable to achieve all movements in dressage.

3.Work the Horse’s Pelvis

“We sit on the weakest place of the horse’s body and we hold on to the most sensitive part,” Tate jokes.  However, the statement communicates the importance of ensuring the pelvis – the bridge to the hind legs – is accessible, moving freely and is strong.

In this video, J.J provides training exercises that ensure the horses’ pelvis is rolled under and oscillating laterally.  Seeing the tail swing and hips drop down from side-to-side with each trot step shows the pelvis is being activated and developed properly.

4. Teach Your Horse To Use His Spring

J.J. Tate shares her techniques for getting the horse to ‘squat’ with the goal is getting the horses’ tail closer to the ground or engaging their limbs like a spring.  She demonstrates exercises to strengthen and coil the horse's spring, which allows for more power and expression in movement.

5. Be Disciplined And Committed To Training Your Horse

J.J. Tate also shares that we must be defined in and committed to what you want to teach the horse. 

“Whoever is in this in the saddle is who is training the horse,” Tate reminds us.  She encourages us to be aware of our actions, to develop good habits, and be disciplined in our training with these incredibly smart animals.

150x209_JJTate_ProfileImagewithHorse (2)Great work is shown here through Kaitlin Blythe’s riding of Eden with J.J. Tate’s wealth of knowledge.  J.J. Tate frequently credits her teachers for sharing their wisdom with her and it is a gift that she is committed to passing this knowledge on.

Great job.


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