Many years ago my daughter and I took lessons with a trainer who used to say that the important thing in dressage was to ” Control less and Create more ” At the time I didn’t really grasp this importance but now many hours and years of dressage riding later I understand how important this is.In the lessons I have watched Lynsey ride my horse Biasini, and Belinda Trussell tells her to “give “and then just try a ” baby half halt” with her knees.This is creating more and controlling less. why does this matter? For the horse to execute the movements there must be a high level of energy present. There must be ‘go‘. There must be these things in order or have the horse execute the movements and the more advanced the movements the more energy and ‘go’ is needed. When the horse has these things then they can look spectacular when they move. But if the rider is focused on “controlling” the horse then there will be a level of dullness that creeps in. Below is a photo of Lynsey riding Biasini in Shoulder In. She has to create enough energy so he will move sideways and make it look easy. She creates enough energy so she can ask Biasini to move bigger and cover more ground. She also creates the angle of travel . That is what defines the shoulder in. The horse is moving sideways with his shouder in toward the center of the arena .
In the photo above Lynsey is executing a shoulder in going to the right. She is creating the angle and the forward movement and at the same time she is also creating the frame of Biasini’s body with the flexion of his neck and also the engagement of his hindquarters.
CREATE MORE .CONTROL LESS.
These four words give us the ultimate quest of Dressage. It may sound easy but the execution is not easy. Far from it. Most riders are looking to control the horse and are often nervous about creating more energy and freedom in the horse. It is not an easy balance.
Here is a sort video of Lynsey riding Biasini.She rides him toward the camera doing some flying changes. Then after the corner she asks Biasini to go and move out with bigger strides.Then she asks him to compress. And he does. This is not about control this is Lynsey creating the energy for the flying changes that she asks him for next. Since he responds well she gives him a break and a pat on the neck.
You can also see the actvity in Biasini’s hind legs. This is where the lift comes from for the changes. They are not just clean lead swaps. These changes have the “flying” part in them.
So there you have it. Create more and control less. That is the quest!
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