COMPLETED Leonie Bramall’s Mental Mindset Tips for Riding Client Horses

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Leonie Bramall_150x374pxls has the unique privilege of bringing to you highly experienced and knowledable rider Leonie Bramall, aboard a 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding at 4th level.   This video has Leonie riding various upper level movements while explaining the importance of the mental mindset needed for the rider and horse to achieve progress.   

Click Below to Watch Sample Video of Leonie Bramall Riding & Lecturing on Champ  by: Royal Diamond an 8 yrs. old Hanoverian Training: 4th Level

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Click on the Player for Video to Play. is proud to present  Rider Leonie Bramall Riding & Lecturing Champ an 8 yrs. Old Hanoverian by Royal Diamond Training 4th Level


  1. Walk

Leonie places high value on walking the horse.   “I like to walk my horses a lot before I start into the work.”    Often her horses walk 30 minutes.  This allows the horse to adjust to the environment, the rider to tune into the horse’s stride and attitude, and it prepares the horse’s body for the work at hand.


  1. Ride Into The Future

Leonie reminds us to ‘ride into the future’ by constantly monitoring the horse’s responses to aids. “I can only change what is coming.  I can’t change what’s happened. I can learn what has happened, but I can’t change that.”    This philosophy keeps her humble and honest in her training of horses and focuses her attention on influencing the future.


  1. Prepare the Horse

Central to riding is preparing the horse both mentally and physically.   “It is important to get his mind and his body in a good space to prepare him for the next piece of work.”    With that, Leonie ensures her cues and commands are clear.  “He can’t read my mind,” says Leonie.   “I must prepare him and let him know something is going to happen.”    Leonie believes this is vital in controlling the whole horse.   


  1. Keep Him Motivated

“Try to keep your horse’s motivation,” says Leonie.  “Not making the horse tired and riding to the point where the horse is just exhausting itself.”    Leonie includes numerous walk breaks in her ride and explains that you do not want the horse to dread your requests.  The management of the horse’s motivation keeps him happy and ready to work.


  1. Know His Limits

Leonie also is aware of how strong the horse is for the work.   “We have changed the concept so that we are working on strengthening.”  Leonie works the horse a few times a week focusing on improving his capacity for work.   Knowing the horse’s limits is critical in keeping the horse happy and sound.  


  1. Be Happy with Small Progress

Leonie emphasizes being happy with small steps.     When training a client horse, small gains is the goal.      She reminds us that each horse comes with various levels of talent, training, and history of riders over their lifetime.   Remember that you are there to help teach the horse.


  1. No Baggage

“You must not ride with baggage.  You must not ride with negative emotion.”  Leonie is emphatic on riding with a fresh mind.  Coming in to each ride with a neutral open mindset allows the rider to see what the horse is offering.   “Give the horse the benefit of the doubt.”     This allows for adjusting the training based on the horse’s needs.


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Leonie Bramall shares her knowledge on the mental mindset that makes for a good rider of any horse.   Thank you Leonie.

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Classic Training Sessions: Elizabeth Ball Lectures Aboard Unitario, a 12 year-old Lusitano Gelding Training Intermediare 1-1, 1-2 and PSG

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Head Banner Elizabeth Ball is pleased to present a Classic Training Session featuring Elizabeth Ball, riding and lecturing aboard Unitario, a 12 year-old Lusitano Gelding training Intermedaire 1-1, 1-2 and Pre. St. George.

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Watch Elizabeth Ball riding and lecturing aboard Unitario, a 12 year-old Lusitano gelding training Intermediare 1-1, 1-2 and Pre. St. George.

This classic training video is a beautiful lecture and demonstration showing how this 15.3 hand average gaited horse, through Elizabeth’s philosophy and technique, can produce suspension, engagement and lightness in Unitario’s trot, passage, piaffe, and flying changes.

Imported from Brazil, Unitario is owned by Julie Bullen at the time of this video.   
Here’s what Elizabeth lectures to us in this informative video aboard Unitario:

  1. Balance

Elizabeth explains balancing which is the ability to bring the horse into an improved state of balance that is off his forehand by encouraging the bending the hind upper joints of the horse and carrying more weight there.    “Balance is being able to sit in and influence the shape of the horse’s body and their first stride.”

To demonstrate, Elizabeth asks Unitario to transform his flat trot though half halts into a suspended trot.  Then by reducing the speed and increasing the activity – passage and half steps emerge.  By going forward, we see a lengthening trot.  All these variations of balance and speed create variation in the gaits.

  1. Forward – in front of low heels

Elizabeth visualizes her horse moving forward in front of her low heels.  Elizabeth shares the importance of keeping a deep, supple seat.  This is another way of saying the horse is in front of your seat.  She reminds us to stretch into your stirrups while keeping your deep seat as it becomes very important in collection work.

  1. Correct and Release

“Corrections shouldn’t become maintenance,” she affirms. “If you have to hold them together and squeeze them together, once you’ve half halted, can you release and hold it on your back on your soft seat and neutral hand?  Or are you dependent on holding him up?”   We should be providing only a moment of correction aids she explains.  In essence the horse should do his job and carry himself.   This leads into the final point: Trust.

  1. Trust

Trusting our horse to do his job is a key component to training.   “Letting go and trusting that he stays where you taught him to be, it opens up the possibility that he could fall apart or make a mistake but then you are in a position of being able to correct it and then reward the improvements.”  She then shares “Making mistakes is not a problem, it’s part of the proof that you are allowing him to do his part.”

ElizabethBall RidingElizabeth reminds us of the importance of adhering to the classical techniques and principles of dressage.  She is focused on using dressage principles in a fair and systematic way to see sound progress in her horses.  “It’s a lot easier said than done however,” she reminds us.  “One lifetime isn’t necessary enough to figure it all out,” she jokes. “The more we learn, the more we realize how much there is to learn.”

Congratulations to Elizabeth for her clear and beautiful way of sharing her classical principles of dressage.

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