July 12th – September 6th
This 8-week study group with Hannah is a practical guide to get you and your horse working in movement. The way that I train and teach is by working on the ground and then transferring it to the saddle, so you can join in this study group whether you’re working your horse on the ground only, just beginning riding your horse with CT or are more advanced and want to practice and refine these exercises.
We’ll be covering the basics of riding with connection. I teach ALL horses these exercises, whether they’re mostly going hacking or as the foundations to moving on to disciplines like dressage or jumping, or you just want to really connect with your horse in the saddle.
They help your horse to become more balanced, supple and strong in their body, which is important for their health, especially if they’re carrying a rider. They also work to refine the communication between you while riding, improving your communication and responsiveness. This process also really builds your ridden confidence because we’ll work at the right pace for you and your, prioritising calmness and connection throughout.
This study group is freely available to CT Club members (you get access as soon as you join, so come and learn with us!). Each week, you’ll be given specific videos to watch and exercises to try with your horse. There is a dedicated forum where you can discuss the topic with your fellow students and share your thoughts and questions. Each week, Hannah will follow the discussions, questions and videos, giving some feedback and advice. This is a great opportunity to get guidance through the course, giving you bitesize chunks to work on each week, while making sure you’re progressing with your horse.
You can join the CT Club here. You’ll get instant access to all the Home Study Courses and this study group as soon as you join 🙂
Here's the Schedule:
Week 1: Connecting from the Ground to the Saddle12-19th July
Week 1 is starting with the basics. We’ll look at making sure you’re connected with your horse when leading on the ground. This means that your horse is calm, relaxed and responsive to you, and is able to slow down and lengthen the walk when you ask.
As we prepare to move to riding, we’ll look at tacking up and working with the horses on the ground in their tack, making sure that you and your horse stay calm and confident. We’ll ensure rein cues for turning and voice cues for walk on and halt are strongly in place.
Moving to the mounting block, again we’ll ensure that your horse is calm, relaxed and stands happily at the block for you to mount.
As we begin to move off, we’re going to look at how to connect through your seat, helping you to feel more balanced and secure in the saddle. You can do these exercises if you’re just riding a few steps to a target, or if you and your horse are more advanced, we can refine your seat and connection in walk, helping your horse into a better balance, frame and responsiveness.
Week 2: Walk, Halt, Lateral Flexions and Turning19-26th July
If you’re working on the ground, you can train and practice all these exercises. If you’re teaching them for the first time, you’ll learn how to introduce them to your horse, or if you’re more advanced, you can work on refining them, looking at how your horse is moving, improving duration, accuracy, relaxation and so on.
If you’re riding, now you’re in the saddle, we’ll start to add in a few more exercises, looking at your cues for walk, halt, back-up and turning. This will be a combination of external guides such as poles and targets, clarifying your external cues, such as rein and voice, and refining your internal cues, such as your weight aids and position in the saddle. When all these elements are in place, riding feels so much more fluid and connected for you and your horse.
Again, you can do these exercises at a basic level if you’re just starting out. If you’re more advanced, let’s look at refining your cues so they’re really precise and subtle, playing with more complex exercises and transitions between the exercises and improving your horse’s movement and engagement.
Week 3: Circles and Bending
26th July - 2nd August
Bending exercises are fantastic for improving your horse’s suppleness and engagement. We begin these exercises on the ground, teaching the horses to move their shoulders over both ways, which is often the sticking point when asking horses to bend. We’ll then take that into some simple bending exercises on the ground in walk.
In the saddle, you can begin by practicing your cues for lateral flexion at halt, before taking it into walk. When riding bends and circles, we’ll look at the cues in your body such as weight aids, as well as external cues such as rein aids, so that they work together for the best communication with your horse.
More advanced horses can work on accuracy in different bends and circles, varying the lateral flexions, working on the engagement of the movement while bending and so on.
Week 4: Practice Week
We’ve covered a lot already! This week gives you the time to go back over the exercises so far and practice them all, making sure that you and your horse are confident in all of them before moving on.
Week 5: Transitions
Transitions are often the sticking point in movement, where the horses loses balance, engagement of connection. We’ll work on helping your transitions to become smoother and you and your to feel calm, confident and connected as you switch between lengthening and shortening the walk, halt, back-up, bending and so on.
Transitions are also really helpful for practicing balance shifts, building body awareness and improving engagement, so are definitely worth practicing!
Transitions can be practiced on the ground or in the saddle and, this is also the opportunity to start moving up into trot, either introducing trot transitions or refining the trot, depending on the level of your horse.
Week 6: Isolations - Shoulders and Quarters Over
Starting on the ground, we’ll begin by teaching (or practicing) the horses to move their shoulders over and their quarters over independently. These movements are really helpful for building your horse’s body awareness and control, as well as being important foundations for other behaviours such as quality bending, engagement and lateral work.
Then, we’ll take them into the saddle, beginning with easy, baby steps and building up to turn on the forehand, and turn on the haunches.
More advanced horses can use these isolations in exercises such as changing the circle by changing the shoulders, and refining movements such as turn about the forehand and working on your seat, contact and connection during these movements.
Week 7: Leg Yield and Lateral Movements
Lateral movements means your horse is moving sideways and they are fantastic for building connection, body awareness, suppleness, strength and engagement. The focus this week is on teaching leg-yield, the simplest lateral exercise and the best way to introduce the concept of going forwards and sideways to your horse.
If this is new to your horse, we’ll begin by teaching it on the ground and then in the saddle – the previous exercises mean you have everything you need to do this easily and simply.
If your horse is more advanced, then you can also practice other lateral exercises, such as shoulder-in and haunches-in, and we can work on refining those.
Week 8: Practice Week
30th August - 6th September
We’ve covered A LOT! So, this final week is all about practicing it so that you and your horse feel really clear and confident with the cues and exercises, so that you know how to continue on your own.