Aug 30 2009

7 Tips for Dressage Training an Arab…

Published by under Arabian Dressage,Dressage

Is there a difference in training a Warmblood or a Quarter horse or even an Arabian in Dressage? I learned about that over the last couple of years. My daughter is the luckiest girl when it comes to her dressage coach. Until a couple of years ago, she had mainly trained children and adults for dressage on Warmbloods and Quarterhorses but since we had this cute little Arabian horse which was so ready to come to work and totally green, she decided to take him on.

Here are some main challenges in training hot blooded horses for dressage, versus Warmbloods and even Quarterhorses:



img_65101. Keep your Arab working at least a little 5 -7 days a week. Don’t let him hang out and get too energetic. They are hard to bring down and focus once they are excited.

2. While you can train a Warmblood over and over again on the same exercise, an Arab needs different excercises to keep him interested. After you practice something 4 or 5 times, you really need to do something else for a while – preferably before his brain is fried and he decides it’s time to go home.

3. When you do an drill the same way over and over again, have him do the exact opposite for a while – or he will let you know what needs to be done. For example, do a ‘leg yield’ away from the rails instead of toward the rails. It breaks his thought pattern and leaves you in in control.img_6497

4. Ride the horse you’re on – be calm, don’t over do it. You are supposed to be the clever one. If you have an electric seat, take a very deep breath and lower your energy output by lot.

5. Arabs? heads like to come up, circle, maybe even hit your helmet while doing it. Don’t pull on the reins to get it down again. It only makes it worse. On the other hand, don’t give too much either, keep a steady contact and send him forward and hopefully he’ll learn that that is not a way to avoid the bit and come off the aids.

6. Many Arabians learn to go behind the vertical and thus go behind the bit. Again, that is nothing but an attempt to evade your aids (hands) – like above, send him forward while keeping a steady contact with his mouth with your hands.

img_68647. And lastly, love him, support him and try to turn all that hot stuff into positive tension. Let him excell and let him show off how cute he is while constantly asking him what you want. You really cannot force them to do anything.

Now go out and ride your horse!

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