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Episode 244: In Conversation Pt 2: Piaffe and Managing Energy


Dominique and I spent an afternoon catching up and going through topics she’s been collecting from my new book, Modern Horse Training, and the on-line clinics. In Part 1 the focus was on working both sides of your horse. We’re often told that we have to work both sides equally during a training session. As always, it is go to people for opinions and horses for answers. What answers have the horses given us? And what strategies can we use to help a horse become comfortable and well balanced on both sides. That was the focus of Part 1. We stopped as Dominique changed the topic to piaffe.


This is a world divides topic. Some people will be perking up, eager to learn more, others will be groaning thinking this episode won’t have anything in it for them. But wait. Before you turn us off, consider this. I know don’t think of yourselves as dressage riders. You don’t dream of teaching your horse to piaffe. In fact, if you’re a trail rider, to you piaffe may mean a horse who jigs all the way back to the barn. And that’s really the point. What we’re going to be talking about is changing energy levels and emotional states. In this podcast we’re going to be exploring the transition from being settled and calm to full of the kind of energy that can be channeled into performance.


We’ll be talking about the role that cues, behavior chains and base behaviors play in developing a horse who can remain deeply settled and relaxed even while he is performing at a very high level.


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