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Dressage Solutions: Improve Your Horse's Suppleness on Bending Lines

Try this dressage training tip from Holly Mason.

To improve your horse’s suppleness and agility on bending lines …

Imagine the curve of your horse’s spine bending similarly to the way a whip flexes (poll to tail). Pay close attention to the turn of the horse’s head (or flexion at the poll) as that helps curve the neck correctly. Moving your horse laterally sideways on circles and in corners makes going straight more fluid and forward. —Holly Mason

Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz) 

( Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz) 

Holly Mason is a dressage instructor and author of It’s Never Too Late, a comprehensive overview of the biomechanics of horse and rider. Having studied with many of the modern masters of dressage, Holly has coalesced the biomechanical concepts of the classical principles into teaching methods designed for contemporary riders. Find her book and DVD, “Focus on Flexibility,” on her website

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This article first appeared in the July 2012 issue of Dressage Today.