I would love input on exercises that encourage stretching down/engaging the back. TIA!
Correct riding encourages them to stretch.
They need the muscle and strength to do so.
To start with it is easier to ask for at the end of a session. Once they ‘get it’ you can also use it for warm up at the start of the sessions.
Here’s what has worked beautifully for me for years:
Here’s my boy doing his thing scroll right to clip #4):
@GoneAway Thank you so much! Your boy looks fantastic. How old is he?
If you can find Bernie Traurig explaining it, I think he does a wonderful job! I audited a clinic of his and started doing long and low before and after every ride because of him.
I also recent started using that rope lunging system (not a Pessoa), and ONLY trotting my horse for about 5-7.5 min each direction. My horse loves it. And she’s a chestnut mare who would tell you if that weren’t the case
I like cavaletti and trotting poles, I find those help horses lift really well. And it helps prepare them for other work.
The stretchy circle is pretty basic dressage.
Think you may find tips on how to ride train that in the book 101 Dressage Exercises
Yes it is dressage but jumping is dressage over obstacles!
I do not teach mine with bringing head to the side to side like in that article.
It can be used as a reward in the middle of work as well.