The Right Approach for Dressage

It looks like we might not be running the 'In a Box' Program this winter after all as the weather looks like it will be too cold for most people, so I may end up postponing the course till sometime late spring. If this happens, those who have prepaid will have their tuition fees returned. This is Julia Felton’s last week with me as a working student. For people who live in the UK and would like to learn my Method from her, you can contact her at So now I am looking for another person that would like the opportunity to be a working student with me. I have a great horse for you to learn how to train bridleless and to develop your dressage skills under saddle with my Method plus all my ground training at liberty. You should be aware though that there is no salary attached to this position and you will have to take care of your own living expenses but of course all the tuition is free! If you are interested in this position or for more information, please contact me at

Recently Mark sent me a video of a horse in the warm up area for a dressage competition that was being severely abused by his rider. Take a look at the video at and see what you think.

I usually stay away from commenting on controversial subjects like this but in this instance I felt I must speak out. I would love to read your thoughts too on this and by writing your comments on the site there, you will also support the campaign. I think that with enough public interest, this kind of abuse can be stopped. As a contrast, I would also love to see pictures of riders demonstrating a centaur connection where holding firm or pulling on the reins is not necessary. I invented the Überstreichen exercises to create a light horse so that the style of riding you see in the video is not needed.

I would love to hear from you, any suggesting you might have for topics you would like me to cover on the blog or questions you might have regarding my Method of training. For example, if we do not run the 'In a Box' program, I thought it might be a good time to start writing about my Überstreichen exercises that you have all asked about. I have a new horse, Sonador, who has come in for advanced training and this would be an ideal opportunity for me to share with you his experiences with the Überstreichen exercises. Sonador is a highly trained Andalusian gelding and a National Champion English Pleasure horse.

National Champion English Pleasure Horse, Sonador

I will continue his education in dressage and exhibition work although I'm not looking to improve his performance in what he was trained to do. Instead, I want to add to it and help him become more comfortable in his own skin and enjoy his performance and he will never experience being trained in a double bridle. The Überstreichen exercises are designed to prepare a horse for the bridle. We first teach the horse to be ridden with lightness from a halter and then when the bit is used, the exchange will be without the need for pulling or needing a contact rein to intimidate the horse to stay round.

So as I start you on your journey with the Überstreichen exercises, no matter what form of riding you do, these basic exercises will help you to have a relaxed ride from the connection you are able to achieve through your rein aids, which will be a simple halter and lead. These exercises can be accomplished by anyone who has made a connection with their horse using the Waterhole Rituals. Or any horse that will walk at your side and stop when you stop walking without using the rope or halter to stop him. Or when you start walking he will automatically start walking with you without you having to pull him forward to get him started.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions.