Riding Horse : Well thought through gymnastic exercises make the horse able to….

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DISCLAIMER While composing this eBook, the greatest care was put in the correctness of the information.

However, Marijke de Jong cannot be held responsible for any information that might be incorrect in this eBook.

Marijke de Jong does not take liability for potential damage that may occur as a consequence of incorrect or incomplete information in this eBook or as a consequence of incorrect translation.

It is very important that you seek professional assistance when you have no or little experience with the Academic art of riding. ©2009 Marijke de Jong Pag. 2 of 45 Academic Art of Riding Introduction Marijke de Jong Horseback riding according to the academic art of riding is something that, because of the name, seems only for elite dressage riders.

But nothing is further from the truth, since all horses and ponies; untrained, experienced or even with a problematic background, can be schooled following the method of the academic art of riding.

The goal of the gymnastic education within the academic art of riding is for the rider to reach a perfect harmony with his or her horse.

Well thought-through gymnastic exercises make the horse able to perform as a riding horse until a very high age.

The horse is trained according to his possibilities and talents, both physically and mentally.

The education of the horse starts with work in hand and longeing using a cavesson.

During the academic training, we work towards riding all side-movements, and if possible pirouettes, canterchanges and piaffe, during which the rider rides one-handed.

These exercises are the foundation for the true art: The High School.

Because of the logically structured exercises, the rider trains him/herself and the horse towards a level that is comfortable for both.

What are the benefits of the academic art of riding for you and your horse? • • • You will learn to train within a logical system of well thought-through gymnastic exercises and you will develop yourself to become the personal fitness trainer of your horse.

You will be able to develop your horse from a horse with (riding) problems towards a soft, cooperative riding horse.

You will get more insight in how riding problems are created, and learn to fix and prevent these problems.

Because of the clear structured system, you will always have a good basic work to fall back on and to help you find the solutions to whatever riding problems you might encounter.

With the academic art of riding basics as physiotherapy, you can reduce and prevent back problems and strain injuries in your horse.

And from that you can take it another step forward: You can develop your horse’s talents to their maximum.

Your horse will develop physically: it will become more supple and easier to maneuver, it will become stronger and will reach more bending in its hindquarter/haunches, and will be easier and lighter to collect.

Your horse will develop mentally: it will become stronger, more self-assured and will scare less easily.

Your horse will become more loyal and affectionate towards you, and will show less resistance and stress. • • • • Is this what you are looking for? Then start reading this document in which the steps of the academic art of riding will be revealed and explained to you.

Enjoy reading! Marijke de Jong Marijke de Jong is a Knight in the academic art of riding an organizes clinics in the Netherlands with Bent Branderup, Grand Master in the academic art of riding from Denmark.

Marijke and some of her students are available for clinics in English in most countries, also beyond the EU. ©2009 Marijke de Jong Pag. 3 of 45 Academic Art of Riding INDEX — 1.

Preparing the young horse ………………………………………………………………………………………… 5   2.

Saddle & rider …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7   3.

Groundwork…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9 4.

Longeing ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11   5.

Getting used to the rider ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13   6.

Riding …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15   7.

Straightness training ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 17   8.

Shoulder in ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19   9.

Quarter in ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 21   10.

Renvers ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23   11 Half pass ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25   12.

Pirouette ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27   13.

Flying Change ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 29   14.

Piaffe ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31   15.

Passage ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 34   16.

Levade ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36   17.

Terre á terre ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38   18.

Jumps above the ground ………………………………………………………………………………………. 40   ©2009 Marijke de Jong Pag. 4 of 45 Academic Art of Riding 1.

PREPARING THE YOUNG HORSE Marijke de Jong A horse’s life starts as a foal.

It will then take a few years before we can start schooling the horse following the academic art of riding.

In the meantime, we will let the youngster grow up among other horses and we will prepare it for its live among people and its future as a riding horse.

Within two hours after it is born, a foal will learn the instinctive skills it needs as a prey animal: to be able to flee.

It is important that a newborn foal finds a positive contact with people within these two hours after birth, to make sure these positive impressions are forever printed in its memory. In the first two weeks of its life, the young horse develops his senses: his hearing, smell, taste, touch and his vision.

Therefore it is very important in these first two weeks to expose mare and foal to different surroundings.

A rich and varied environment increases the youngster’s senses and will make it less scared in the future.

During the first six months, the youngster should mainly learn to be a horse.

It is important to leave the foal grow up among other horses.

This way, the youngster will learn horse language and social behaviors in the herd.

Also, growing up with other youngsters is important.

This way the youngster can play with other foals, one- and two-year-olds.

This is beneficial for the development of bones, tendons and the general physical development. It is very important that the young horse learns to behave calmly and gently in his relationship with ©2009 Marijke de Jong Pag. 5 of 45 Academic Art of Riding Marijke de Jong people.

He should also develop proper manners and learn to respect behavioral rules set by us, humans.

It is strongly recommended to first teach a young horse using structured training (groundwork, bodywork, stress & obstacle training, trailer training): • The youngster should first learn to wear a halter, to be led by the halter and to stand while tied to the halter.

Through leading the horse by its halter, you can demonstrate your leadership in a friendly way.

The horse must learn to let itself be touched everywhere.

This is important in case of emergencies when a veterinary must examine the horse.

Also, the horse should learn to lift its feet gently and to stand still patiently during grooming. • • — Step 7: Take away the longe In the end, the longeing person will no longer give any aids to support the horse.

Then the longe can be taken off.

The rider should repeat all steps 1-6 with the longeing person first walking with the horse through the exercises.

The longeing person should then take more distance gradually.

During one of the following training sessions, the bit should be added (a curb in the academic art of riding).

The horse is ridden with 2 reins: 1 attached to the cavesson and 1 (first just hanging loose) attached to the bit.

This way the horse can get used to the bit and the weight of the reins on the bit.

When the horse lets himself be led by the aids of the rider, more advanced riding training can start. ©2009 Marijke de Jong Pag. 16 of 45 Academic Art of Riding 7.

STRAIGHTNESS TRAINING Marijke de Jong The horse is systematically trained to build up muscles using a set of logically structured dressage exercises during its training as a riding horse.

The straightness training is to be incorporated throughout the entire education of the riding horse.

Natural crookedness Like every human the horse is left or right handed.

Every horse is therefore crooked (asymmetrical) from nature and bends more easily to one side than the other.

The horse has a convex and a concave side and it does not place its shoulders straight in front of its hips.

One hind leg usually has more backwards push from nature, while the other one has more of a forward grab and is therefore more carrying.

If a rider does not correct this crookedness it can lead to problems in the horse.

Hollow (concave) side: short, stiff, strong muscles Elongated (convex) side: long, supple, weak muscles Linksgebogenes pferd Rechtsgebogenes pferd Natural balance All horses carry from nature about 3/5th of their weight on the front legs and 2/5th on the hind legs.

This balance is easy for grazing, because it causes an automatic locomotion.

Both front legs do not carry the same amount of weight however, due to the difference in push and carrying capacity of the hind legs.

The carrying hind leg is suppler and steps easier under the point of weight.

The pushing hind leg is straighter and stiff and can make a powerful backwards push.

This pushes more weight on one front leg than on the other, and added with the weight of the rider this can lead to strain injuries.

Consequences on the circle A horse that is not corrected for its natural crookedness and the natural balance, will fall on the inside shoulder or over the outside shoulder. on the shoulder over the shoulder Consequences on a straight line The horse walks with his shoulders not straight in front of its hips.

When riding an uncorrected horse along the wall of the riding arena this effect is enhanced, because the shoulders are also narrower than the hips. ©2009 Marijke de Jong Pag. 17 of 45

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