Pam Goodrich Instructs How to Develop Balance, Relaxation, and Obedience with 5-Year-Old Lucienne, a Danish Warmblood Mare.

Posted by admin On July - 17 - 2017

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Dressageclinic.com is pleased to present Pam Goodrich assisting Sarah Jane Arthur aboard 5-year-old Lucienne, a Danish warmblood mare schooling Training Level.

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Watch Pam Goodrich assisting Sarah Jane Arthur on the 5-year-old Lucienne, a Danish Warmblood Mare Schooling Training Level.

Pam shares her philosophy of schooling the 5-year-old horse under saddle.   Pam likens the young horse to a child entering kindergarten.   ‘’They have to play in certain confines,” she explains.  “I liken it to crayons and a colouring book, they can’t write on the desk.”  She expects the horse to begin respecting the work by not having temper tantrums and beginning simple work that exercises the large muscle groups.   Pam instructs Sarah Jane to keep the horse moving in large sweeping circles and stay out of the corners to ensure the horse is continually working and not getting ‘stuck’.

Pam also shares her main training goals for the young horse.  First, the horse must know the basic aids of walk, trot, and canter and be responsive and forward to the aids. The young horse must also accept the bit.  From there, the young horse begins to learn to balance within these gaits and trust the rider to gently guide them back into balance.  “If they are ‘out of control’ in their bodies, that is okay.  You guide them back,” says Pam.

Pam explains the importance of the quality of contact a young horse needs to support their development as they learn to find their balance.     Often the young horse needs to use their neck to keep their balance.  “When they are in a good balance, they don’t need to use their necks,” explains Pam.  “They can go in a steadier frame with a natural rhythm.”

Pam also shares the technique of “keeping the reins” when the young horse resists the contact.    “ I don’t mean pull back because then she shortens her neck and then you have a brick wall.  When she puts her head up, there is a boundary [with your reins].  Once she is okay with that boundary, then she will relax her neck in a more comfortable way and then is rewarded with a lighter, softer contact…and be in better balance. ”

“At this age, the horse starts to get stronger in the position that they are in.”  Pam explains our job as riders and coaches is to “start to show them how to use their power without shutting the power down.”

Pam also values the development of behaviour of young horses that is calm and relaxed.  “As long as their behaviour is socially acceptable, I allow them the freedom to walk relaxed in a long frame.”

 “When we pick up the reins it’s like the bell ringing in school.  It’s time for class, you need to be serious, and you need to go to work now,” Pam explains. “It allows for a good competition horse because you get a good walk in the arena but it also conserves energy.”  Pam jokes that people could all benefit from this technique.   “They learn when it is time to work and when it’s time to relax and this balances their life as a riding horse.” 

102X142_Pam Goodrich_ProfilePam coaches Sarah Jane in completing many simple transitions to keep the forward movement in the horse light and responsive.  They practice serpentines, leg yields, and finish with a horse showing more suppleness in her topline, suspension in her gaits, and better balance in her body.  

This video is a valuable lecture on developing balance, relaxation, and obedience in a willing 5-year-old.  Well done!

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