The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Makana, this topic is so interesting! I've always wanted to find exercises to do for the rider as well as the horse and so I'll print this and read it over and over again (and of course practice).
You put in alot of hard work to do this I'm sure and I appreciate you sharing this with me (us).

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:03 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Wow, thanks, Jocelyne. That means a lot.

It really was a matter of condensing stuff I'd heard, read, or seen in others -- some from Hempfling, from other books, from fitness training, articles, etc. Actually, one GREAT, fantastic resource is, then search for Lynne S. exercises. Her stuff is phenomonal. Here is a link to her exercises for a deep seat, which have really helped me (especially the leg swinging one). ... scissoring

I've received so much from here, I'm just so happy to maybe help a bit with others.

"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Hey Hannah!

You wrote:

Speaking of that, what IS the best way to rotate your leg from your hip? I hear that mentioned for riding, for walking with your feet straight, etc, and I've had only limited success figuring out the best way to rotate from the hip -- especially for riding. It usually ends up with me grabbing my thigh and physically rotating my leg, and although it feels great for a bit, my leg soon slips back out again.

There are lots of things you can do!

I think the first thing to do is to play with thinking about your leg as a unit from the hip. Try standing (or sitting, even) and working to turn out -- lift your leg up in front of you (doesn't have to be high; if you're standing, you can just push your leg straight out in front of you and point your toe so just your toes are touching the ground). Experiment with being very clear on the foot coming straight out from your hip, kneecap towards the sky -- this is, in dance parlance, called "neutral" -- then, with your leg as one unit, rotate from the hip so your heel is pointing inwards and up -- looking like a ballet dancer pointing your this slowly, five times on one leg, then five times on the other.

I'll come back with more; but at the moment, husband, neighbor, and martinis are calling!



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:14 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Minnesota, USA
mmmmmm Martinis :D Hope you all had fun! Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try doing that as I have trouble with my hips too (besides the fact there is too much of them :lol: )
Makana, let's try to get together sometime! Perhaps after your 4H presentation as I'm sure you have lots to do before that. I'd love to see your stretches in the flesh so to speak, and to meet you and your horse/s. I work during the week, but have Fridays and the weekends off.
I've only just scratched the surface of the forum and web site, but am enjoying it, just wish I had more time to read stuff and then go out and play with my horses. Speaking of which... guess I should head out and cut some more cocklebur :cry: Have a great weekend everyone, enjoy your ponies!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
I moved this topic into the Riding forum as it covers all the stretches for riders that are quite important for riding well (and because over here there still is some room left ;) ).


New horse book: Mandala horses!

Never stop making mistakes! Natural Dressage

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:50 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
I love this topic. I know if I had known about all these exercises for the rider when I first started riding 4 years ago it would not have taken me almost 3 years to get a relatively balanced seat and my horse would have had a lot less strain on her back and her legs.

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 206
Location: Devon, United Kingdom
Brilliant topic... I've just printed out the horse and rider stretches :D Skylark and I have some fun and flexibility in store!

PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:06 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Thank you SunLily for bumping this topic back up the boards, so worth reading again. The archive here is a veritable treasure trove.xx

Susie xx

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