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Better Riding Archive

Four Riding Warm Up Exercises

Beginnings are always important. They set the tone for what comes later and the beginning of a ride is no exception. Starting out with a few moments focused on movement and breathing can help you find your alignment and balance for the ride ahead. Find a simple warm up routine that works well for you

Best Books on Riding

I love to read. One of my favorite ways to pass time (when not riding) is sprawled out on the floor with a good book. There is something special about getting lost in the pages of a book, discovering new ideas, solutions, and stories. Many times the words of an author from a book I

Competing for Fun, Goal Setting, and Skill Building

The following article was written by Julia Burdy. Julia is the Community Manager here at CRK Training. You may have seen her name and photo replying to comments and posting on the Facebook page, and if you have watched any of the videos here, you have also seen her editing work! Every Monday, we have

Do You Do This? (Practicing Jump Position)

For many riders, preparing to jump for the first time, or working to improve their jumping, begins with spending time holding the two point position. Perhaps just standing still at first, and then at walk, trot, canter, and even over poles. Practicing this basic position is great, but there is a catch… The way many

Slow is Fast – Why Going Slow will Make You a Better Rider

It feels exciting to learn quickly, to do a lot, to add to a list of accomplishments. It feels good to work hard, to raise the jumps, canter longer, practice all the lateral movements of dressage, or get through the trail ride on the fractious horse. Even if we are anxious through the process, the

How to Handle Spooking on the Trail

Riding down a wooded trail, across an open field, along a country lane, or across a rocky ridge – these are the images of dreams. No matter how often riders refer to “just a trail ride”, leaving the confines of the arena for open spaces and all that may be encountered there, can be a

Finding Steady Contact and Effective Rein Cues

Many times when riders talk about contact, it is discussed only from the perspective of the rider. How to find steady hands or feel how much pressure to have on the reins. But the feeling of “good contact” is about more than just what the rider does with the reins, as the horse’s response is

Avoid the “Double Bounce” in Rising Trot

Does the rising trot feel tiring? Do you struggle with being able to use your legs to cue the horse while trotting? How much effort should it take and what exactly propels the rider upwards – is it using your legs to lift, pushing off your stirrups, or something entirely different? A common frustration for

What are “Soft Eyes” for Riding and How Your Eyes Affect Your Seat

In riding, it’s often the small details that make the biggest difference in our posture, our stability, and how effective we are in communicating with the horse. In last week’s video, we talked about how little movements with your head, caused by the direction you look, affect the rest of your position. But there is

Look Up! Using Your Eyes in Riding

Have you ever had a riding instructor tell you to “look up!” or “look or where you are going!”? It’s good advice, as the average human head weighs 10-11 lbs and that weight, balanced at the top of your torso, will have a lot of influence on the rest of your posture and position. In