Lateral Movements Decoded in Interview with Volker Brommann

Posted by admin On December - 5 - 2017

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Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 12.10.34 PM is pleased to present this in-depth interview with well-respected trainer Volker Brommann  discussing all aspects of lateral work from leg yield to shoulder-in, renvers to travers, and the half-pass. Executive Director Andreas Stano leads the discussion in this video which provides a foundation of understanding for riders, coaches, and judges who are looking to clarify the aids for riding the lateral movements.

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Watch Volker's interview discussing all aspects of lateral work.

Volker credits many horses as well as his mentors Walter Christensen and Klaus Balkenhol in providing him his training and developing his philosophy with riding.  His philosophy is to create an understanding between man and horse and achieve the feeling of harmony.   Volker compares the feeling to a dance partner.  “Okay, here is the signal so we can move together.”

Here are the top highlights of Volker’s interview.

The Leg Yield

Volker believes in the leg yield and rides the leg yield before performing shoulder-in or half-pass. 

“It gives me a very good baseline if the horse is on my inside and outside aids,” says Volker.   

Volker likes to see purity and fluidity of the gait when performing the leg yield and looks for straightness with some flexion.  “It looks easy for the horse to go forward in its natural gait and sideways.”

Volker shares how to ride the leg yield along a wall.   He describes keeping the horse along the wall with the wall on the horse’s right side.    “I would ride forward, then flex to the right then add my right leg.  I would add pressure and soften it as he responds and moves off my leg.  I keep him steady on my left rein (outside rein) and my outside leg (left leg) is steady to prevent too much angle.“

Volker explains how he adjusts leg aids or adds tools, such as the whip, to get the desired response.  He also provides several solutions to various problems when training the leg yield.

The Shoulder-In

Shoulder-in is performed with a horse that is bent and is very similar to riding a corner.  

“If I know how to ride a circle well, I know what the bending aids are.”

He explains the bending aids.  “Inside leg is by the girth, my outside leg is a guarding leg behind the girth and the weight is slightly to the inside.  I flex my horse to the inside and I ride my horse forward and get a nice connection on both reins,” says Volker. “If I go from a circle to a shoulder-in, I already have the bend and then I add the inside leg to bring the horse sideways.”

“The shoulder in is an important exercise as the horse goes away from the inside leg of the rider towards the outside rein.”

Travers and Renvers

Volker shares the elements of travers, where the haunches are to the inside.  Volker uses the leg yield aids along the wall and begins by simply changing the flexion of the horse.    He then returns to the circle to create the bend.  He adjusts his leg aids to ensure the horse does not fall in or out and also adjusts his weight towards the direction of travel.    He continues to use all these adjustments to refine the movement.   Renvers,  haunches to the outside, has equal yet opposite aids.

Volker shares the benefits of schooling renvers and shoulder-in sequentially and reminds us to adjust our weight towards the bend of the horse.

The Half-Pass

Volker explains that the half-pass has similar aids and movement of the travers but is instead performed across the arena.  Volker shares that the movement must be forward and it is important that the horse is leading with the forehand. 

Volker takes his time in sharing his dressage journey and clearly lays out the elements that produce correct lateral movements.

Thank you Volker for sharing your knowledge.


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