Rollkur No More: Uberstreichen Exercises: Fifth Exercise
Second Annual Free Course, Winter 2011 Welcome to week 8!
Here is the fifth Uberstreichen Exercise for you all to try.
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My Method helps a horse to learn more rapidly with an enthusiastic attitude. The Waterhole Rituals™ prepare a horse for daily training, riding for pleasure work, or performance, and causes an extreme connection with its handler. The Method develops a cross-species bond, and a willing, well-adjusted horse. I have chosen specific Rituals that horses use in a natural herd. These Rituals were selected because they are the ones that create a deep bond, harmony, and a communication system. When we use these Rituals, it trips the horse’s psyche to understand us better, and puts them in the mood to bond rather than react. Practicing these Rituals develops the partnership we need to have when working with horses. The Waterhole Rituals develop a communication ability that is magical between horses and humans. The Carolyn Resnick Method starts with the Waterhole Rituals and advances in stages to other methods I have created to support the beginner and green horse to a Grand Prix performance horse and rider, as well as the backyard loving pet.
The Purpose of Uberstreichen Exercise 5
The fifth exercise starts with the horse in halt. The reason this exercise is important for dressage is that there are times you want to use a strong contact rein to create more impulsion in your horse’s stride. A horse can feel trapped at these times if you do not take the time to teach a horse from the ground that you want him to be more activated from a holding rein. The idea that you want more impulsion from a held rein can be a difficult concept for a horse to grasp. This is why in dressage we see horses becoming resistant by bracing, becoming unwilling and nervous, and lose their forwardness when the leg aids are asking for the horse to be more active at the time the rein aid is held.
It is necessary to have a contact on the rein when asking from the leg aids to ask for more energy because without the contact of the rein, the horse would go faster rather than be more active. What causes a horse to start rearing and bolting from these aids is that the horse does not understand that he could move at all much less be more active so it causes the horse to go into a flight and fright mode. When the rider responds to the bolting, they usually become more aggressive which causes the horse to become more resistant. The horse is confused because the rein aids are asking him to halt in his mind, while the leg aids are asking for forward. Always when a horse becomes resistant- the best thing to do is ask the horse to do something else that requires the same effort, but would cause the horse to relax. You do not want the horse to learn how to bully the rider, and by putting the horse into another work effort, this will not happen.
Benefits of Uberstreichen Exercise 5
This simple exercise takes care of these reactions in the horse by teaching him how to round up in a half halt, and to go forward at the same time from a halt. It is amazing that such a simple exercise from halt to walk, with the horse’s head down, would fix all these issues between a horse and his rider, but it works amazingly well! Of course, one has to have the program of all the Uberstreichen Exercises in place for this one to be completely effective.
If you never use a holding rein, you still want to do this exercise because this exercise will help deepen the trust and willingness of your horse. I use this fifth Uberstreichen Exercise with all horses because of the results it gives me in causing a horse to have much better coping skills and much more willingness in general.
When you are ready to do the fifth exercise make sure that you warm your horse up with all the exercises in the same way. Do not try the fifth exercise if your horse shows resistance to any of the Uberstreichen Exercises because it is very important that the horse is in a good mood and the horse has no resistance.
Start with the fifth exercise at halt with you holding your horse’s head down almost to the ground with pressure on the rope. When the horse will accept this pressure, then you will ask the horse to go forward while you have this same pressure. When you ask the horse to go forward, he will resist wanting to go forward, but keep requesting. You can use a reed to encourage him, by tapping him from behind you if you need. When the horse offers a half step, release the contact completely, say “good boy,” and walk forward with him on the twenty-meter circle. When you get to the half-way point on the circle, request halt, lower his head to the ground, and repeat. This is all there is to this exercise. As you increase the difficulty of this exercise, hold the contact on the horse in longer increments of time. This would look like holding a strong contact, as the horse is taking two steps forward before the release, but no longer.
What to do if your horse does not want to go forward.
If you have a horse that doesn’t want to go forward on the held contact, there are two ways you can approach it. First, you can ask a friend to walk behind the horse and drive him forward, like you would encourage a horse to step into a trailer at the moment you ask the horse to go forward from the held contact rein. The other thing you can do is to release the hold and ask him to keep his head down while the rope is released. Then ask to walk on, and through the habit, the horse will listen to your request to go forward even though he feels a held contact later on.
Remember, when you start with the Uberstreichen Exercises it is important that you take time Sharing Territory with your horse, that you are enjoying each other’s company, and that your horse is relaxed and has the capacity to listen to you- rather than paying attention to other things. He has to have your full attention. Do not do these exercises if you have any feelings inside of you that remove your personal well being. If you have anything that is bothering you, the horse will pick this up and it will negatively affect the training session. If this is the case, practice the exercises by walking through and doing them without your horse to soothing music.
Homework: Please check in as usual. Let me know how you are doing, and as always, please feel free to ask questions. Looking forward to new horse and human sightings! Have a great weekend! Carolyn