Rollkur No More: Uberstreichen Exercises: Last Lesson

Second Annual Free Course, Winter 2011Welcome to week 9! Here is the last Uberstreichen Exercise. Welcome!

This is our last free Uberstreichen Lesson for this year! I am so happy to hear all of the good results that were reported from the practice of the Uberstreichen Exercises. I am not going to cover the next series of exercises. The next series is just a repeating of what you have already done, but the horse must bend his head to the inside instead of just dropping his head straight down as you have been doing in each exercise. The reason I am not going to cover the next series is that much more practice needs to occur, and I find that to give the exercises ahead of time is not beneficial to the horse or to the student. If anyone wants to continue with the Uberstreichen Exercises, I can offer a coaching call privately or in a group depending on what the interest level is. Let me know if you do want to sign up for a group coaching call on the Uberstreichen Exercises. If we have a large enough interest, I will set up a date. The number of students on the call will be limited to 20 in a class- so that everyone gets special attention. The charge for the call will be $45.00.

Transferring to the Right Side of the Horse We are now going to take all of these exercises and perform them on the right side of the horse. If your horse finds them more difficult going to the right than when you started on the left, go back to working on the left. It is a sign that your horse is not seasoned to the Uberstreichen Exercises enough. What I have discovered about working horses on the right or the left is that horses will prefer one side or another. Generally, the left is preferred, and as the horse becomes more accepting of the program, the right comes with much less resistance. When you start to the right, remember how your horse was in the beginning when you were working to the left, and if he has a similar response on the right, he is quite ready to learn how to do the Uberstreichen Exercises going to the right side. When starting to the right, be prepared that you are starting fresh, so be patient.

Advancing the Uberstreichen Exercises If you keep practicing the Uberstreichen Exercises, you can advance them to working with the horse with reins and working in transitions on the 20-meter circle in walk and trot. For example, if I were doing the third Uberstreichen Exercise, I could ask the horse to round up and step into trot and back into walk and release to a long contact. This helps a horse become naturally more collected and creates a very straight horse that will not fall in.

Falling In-A Common Problem Falling in seems to be a problem with many dressage horses and it is caused from a horse not being seasoned enough to the turning aids. I think the best way to handle this is to take the time and slow down rather than reprimanding the horse from not wanting to stay on course. Take the time and school the turning aid. This could be practiced easily when you ride by riding random serpentine loops in the arena that the horse is unfamiliar with. The reason I suggest the patterns to be random is that dressage horses do not get enough practice on listening to the rider’s turning aids on an unpredictable course. This unfamiliararity causes the horse to be more focused on the riders rein aids for direction, and to listen to his rider more closely in regards to where he needs to be. Why this is important in dressage is that the more “true” a horse is, the straighter he will be on the path, which will produce bigger gaits, and the more elastic he will naturally become.

Any Ideas? We have quite a few readers who are excellent teachers. It would be wonderful if anyone has any patterns or suggestions they might like to share.

Homework: As usual, please check in and ask any questions you may have.

Looking Forward to New Horse and Human Sightings!

Have a great weekend!