Classical Dressage Instruction
Horseback Riding Lessons & Horse Training
All horseback riding styles emerged from Classical Equitation
- go back to the foundation!
Whether you use snaffle or leverage bits, hackamore, bosal, or bitless bridle in your Dressage, English, Western, Trail, Treeless, etc saddle... Does not really matter. It's a personal/"horsonal" choice because... the "tool" is only as effective as the hand that wields it. It's about developing timing and feel.
Feel comes from the heart.
Successful Guidelines to Develop Feel:
Use as loose a rein as possible at all times
Allow the horse to work mostly with the poll as the HIGHEST POINT
Sit balanced in the saddle with ear, shoulder, hip and heel following a plumb line at the halt
Building Relationship - Line and Liberty Groundwork
Groundwork, in the halter or on the line, begins on day one as we teach it at Valhalla Farm. Foals are precocious and learn quickly. Any good groundwork on the line "takes hold of the equine mind" and Heart-Centric Horsemanship draws from multiple principled horsemanship techniques, as well as from positive relationship based animal training. I refer to this as "halter play" and it works best as part of the daily repertoire.
Liberty groundwork or "off the line" (using eventually, the handler's body language) only seems "other-worldly". But the magic is really the enlivening of the relationship potential between the horse(s) and the human(s). Liberty groundwork builds an enduring relationship through play that becomes performance. We emphasize this principle during our Horsemanship Training at Valhalla Farm!
Listen More - Whisper Less - Observe, Feel, Observe, and Feel Again!
This is the foundation for animal communication (and animal telepathy). Horses communicate by body language (called language of equus by some) AND through telepathy. Based on my day to day observation (by horse-keeping at home), horses "speak" to each other in pictures, feel and share emotions, form lasting bonds (friendships/family connections) and learn tones and words.