Horse Training

Collection work

Collection encourages the horse to shift his weight to his hind end

We all seem to agree that training must first and foremost contribute to the physical development of the horse. Ultimate collection does not only ask a great deal of straightness, flexibility and co-ordination, it also asks tremendous mental concentration and contribution from your horse. What is collection? Very briefly, in collection you want the horse to shift his weight, which ...

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Dressage for the showjumping horse

Strive for controlled forward impulsion and straightness

While showjumping might seem like a ‘point and shoot’ discipline to some spectators, a good showjumping round requires much more from the horse than just clearing the jumps. Showjumping demands the horse to be adjustable, flexible, in balance, have straightness in his body and have a good and powerful canter. Working the horse on the flat helps to keep him ...

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Tackling water complexes with confidence

Is your horse ready to take the plunge?

Have you ever wondered why some horses fear water? Eventers and some showjumpers can have a hard time convincing their horses to go through water complexes or over water jumps. A young horse naturally fears puddles, because the position of his eyes on the sides of his head doesn’t allow him to see directly beneath him. He can also only ...

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Is your horse straight or skew?

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Is your horse stiff to one side? Are you struggling with bend and contact on that same side? Do you feel that you can’t sit straight in the saddle because the saddle slides to one side? Does your horse always move with his hindquarters in to one side? Are you having difficulties controlling the outside shoulder? If you answered yes ...

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Lengthening and collection


Lengthening and collecting is a useful exercise to practice during schooling sessions because it improves your horse’s level of responsiveness and accuracy, as well as encouraging your horse off the forehand and onto his hind legs. It’s important not to overdo the lengthening and collection in any schooling session because it puts more strain on your horse and can be ...

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How correct is your contact?

Long and low is a softer and looser contact usually used for warming up and introducing youngsters to contact

Your contact is an essential line of communication to your horse, and for that reason, absolutely essential to get right. A common error from the rider’s side is dropping of the contact and therefore dropping of the communication. One minute you’re providing your horse with information and guiding him, and the next minute you’re not. This inconsistency is most likely ...

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Rider and seat position

An unbalanced rider will hinder a horse’s movement

HQ is thrilled to be exclusively partnered with the Dutch-based Equine Support International (ESI). ESI educates equestrians all over the world to increase levels of equestrian knowledge. This helps horse owners, stables, educational institutions and federations to take a step forward with horse wellbeing and the sport in general. ESI provides unique custom-made solutions such as national talent programmes, training ...

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Jumping gymnastic

Focus on keeping your horse straight through the exercise and keeping your upper body steady

This month we look at an exercise that appeals to all types of horses and all levels of riders. It helps improve both horse and rider and, like most good exercises, allows the coach to concentrate equally on horse and rider during the training session. Focal areas include: Straightness Rhythm Technique Confidence Rider position Set it up Before you try ...

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The shoulder-in

The shoulder-in is excellent for developing straightness and balance

At the risk of sounding like every instructor who has ever taught you, I am going to start with a critical piece of information: If you are ever struggling to master a new movement or technique, you need to go back to basics. In dressage horses, this boils down to establishing balance and straightness. Regardless of if your horse is ...

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Fitness and wellbeing for riders

Your workouts out of the saddle should include cardio and core training

While we tirelessly put hours into training and maintaining our horses, we seldom remember to look after ourselves. Our horses are athletes – there’s no doubt about it – and riders work hard to make sure that they are trained correctly, fed a careful diet, and receive all their necessary treatments to keep them in top shape. However, an athletic ...

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