Year of New

We arrived safely in Maryland after 13 long hours and (I believe) 7 states! Val was a trooper and has settled in fabulously up in my new palace of Hassler Dressage. I definitely felt awkward for the first couple of days and settling in has been strange but I am thrilled how it is all going now.  I had my first lesson with Scott Hassler on Saturday and it was great. Scott really understood and nailed my horses problems right on the head. Everything he said I completely felt and was really pleased with how he understood our problems. He wants to take his time with understanding what our system is before he throws us into a brand new one which I appreciate a lot. I feel so good about the training and the program that I am in. I could not have asked for a more wonderful situation. However, I am exhausted so I am just going to type out my quick notes instead of a real post tonight. And then throw a few pictures of this place at the end!

Notes from 1/8:

  • work for honesty within the connection to achieve throughness instead of lightness – not only supple in jaw but through whole body and back
  • be a little sloppy in the suppling for right now
  • blend/flexion/contact -> release in jaw -> release in poll -> release in wither -> completely through the neck/neck control -> through the back = create activity, cadence, and collection
  • Important: only when he is through the neck do I have the right to ask for power behind
  • 2 ways to do this – 1. hold flexion until feel release then physically straight OR 2. quick bend to straight transitions
  • need a more active outside hand
  • because bend and flexion focus is hand riding it must always have a purpose/goal and be followed by a release and then leg – not leg first though otherwise he panics with the hand and the front door always being open
  • when he jumps around keep flexion on a single rein and let sideways or forwards – don’t give up the feel in that moment
  • in good moments create more and do changes of direction
  • holds right -> left in change of direction, half pass, and especially flying changes
  • ALWAYS go back to true collection as the middle and establish throughness there first
  • proactively ride and call the shots – ask questions

Notes from 1/10:

  • ask questions of the neck at all times – 3 stages of riding:
  • 1. Harmony – passive/connected feeling (where we want to ride most of the time)
  • 2. Coaching: work through; show and reminding *must have this step in between*
  • 3. Correcting: “hey bud listen” – clear expectation but hold no judge after the moment: stay until absolutely sure the aids are heard and understood
  • After we work through these stages then we can ask questions of the body and the back and hind legs -> 2 ways:
  • Is he tight in the back? (70%) OR is he slow in the hind leg? (30%)
  • tightness in the back translates into bracing of the neck which needs to be handled first
  • quick aids and response to collection: 1. establish neck througnesss 2. ask for collection QUICKLY 3. three steps of collection 4. ride out 5. re-establish connection with the neck and lightness/throughness
  • *really coach through the flying changes and keep more connected with both sides of the neck

And now for a few pictures!


Back of the barn from walking out to the turnouts

Pony on his first day of turnout

The tack room of gorgousness

The AMAZING arena

One of the many wings in the barn - we have a stallion wing, and a mare wing, and then our guest wing

Promise a real post later!



Filed under Training

5 responses to “Year of New

  1. Lynn

    Cant wait to hear more! Thanks for updating!

  2. Congratulations! A friend of mine trains with the Hassler’s, I’ve heard nothing but great things about them. Enjoy your stay there! The place is gorgeous!

  3. Paigley

    i’m so jealous right now………….you had better learn enough for two people up there, cause then your gonna teach it to me ;)

  4. Absolutely amazing!!! It must be so rewarding to finally be at such a level with such a training after many years of work.

  5. The Hassler’s place looks amazing! I love your notes, I do the same thing with my lessons too. They are really useful!

    I nominated you for a blog award :)
    See what to do with it here…

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