I’m often asked, “How much is too much contact, and how little is too little.” The answer often depends on what it is that you’re doing with your horse. But the question of how much contact you should use goes beyond the specific activity your are doing with your horse. It can change within the course of a single workout. Instead of focusing on “How much contact should I have?” you should focus on “What is the most effective contact for that moment?” Read more and watch the video.
Maintaining perspective while training horses for carriage driving can be a challenge. This is especially true when you’re trying to improve your dressage scores in combined driving. We have ideals in our minds that we’d like our horses to live up to, and when someone misses the mark, it’s tempting to say “poo-poo on you.” […]
There are lots of great carriage driving and horse training questions on the Ask Andy page. I think it will be fun to answer some of those questions in video posts from time to time. Here’s the first installment! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
Driving corners and turns in a dressage test shouldn’t be that difficult, but it’s the one place that people most often get it wrong. They either drive so far from the corner that they bearly use the ring, or they bury their poor ponies in the corner. Unfortunately, there’s no guidance in the rulebook other than […]
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that how you’re using your body on the carriage effects how your horse is moving. After all, you’re fairly isolated from the horse, and you’re sitting 3-4 feet behind him. But small changes in your body can make big differences in your horse’s way of going. Here’s a short video […]
Do you ever feel like the second half of your dressage test or pleasure class is just a little better than the first half? Maybe you’ve even thought, “If I only had a little more time to put my pony together, I could have had a much better drive.” That’s a common experience. Sometimes it […]
Carriage drivers may be a little more isolated from the horse than riders, but that doesn’t mean that you loose the “feel” for the horse. Here’s a great exercise to get reconnected to your horse from the carriage. Your Momentum Map Think about momentum for a moment. For example, picture yourself in your truck and […]
This little note on bending is long overdue. I’ve put it off for a long time for good reasons. The main reason is that most people get their priorities out of order when the subject of bending comes up. Too many people think of manipulating their horse’s bend long before any of the prerequisites to […]
Here’s a rare experience for me; Sitting down on a Sunday morning with coffee doing some reading. It’s rare because Sundays are not usually my low activity days for me. During the year I’m usually pretty engaged in some activity on weekend days. Sunday mornings usually involve getting up a little earlier in the morning […]
A student of mine was at an equine expo watching the various demonstrations and clinics. Afterward, she sent me a note; “Not one clinician told their students to look up and away from the horse. Is that [looking ahead of your horse] just an Andy-ism?” My reply; “Not an Andy-ism, just a global world truth […]
Many carriage drivers struggle with their horse taking a step backward after completing a halt. Understanding why the horse is taking the backward step is the first step toward solving the problem.
I gotta say, I had a really good time this past weekend. Well, that shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, since I was surrounded by some of my favorite people and ponies. But I went into the weekend a little tentative. I’ve had this thought of hosting a driving camp for quite a while, […]
Here’s a fun little video from yesterday that I did. It’s shaky, but it gets the point across. We all need a little distraction, and our horses are the best form of that! Of course, it’s just basically an ad for tonight’s class “Body Mechanics of the Horse”. This is a class that I’ve actually been […]
From time to time I get notes of thanks and other feedback in response to Online Classes or Lesson Plans here on the site. It’s really gratifying to read about how useful these classes are for people in such real terms. As you can imagine, I put a huge amount of work into the classes. […]
Here’s a look at a dressage test posted by Al Senzamici for review. If you’d be interested in a similar review of your video, go ahead and post it to my page. I’m happy to provide similar analysis in exchange for the video file for later use in online classes. I can’t promise that […]