Training Tips from Helen Langehanenberg

Thu, 05/28/2020 - 10:17
Training Your Horse
Helen Langehanenberg warming up Vayron at his Nurnberger burgpokal show debut at the 2019 CDI Hagen :: Photo © Astrid Appels

Over the past few weeks Helen Langehanenberg has been sharing some training tips on her social media account. Her are some insights about training your horse at home during corona. 

On Maintaining the Rhythm

Vayron is a super example of how the pace can be changed, yet the rhythm can almost remain the same.  Of course not to 100%, the pace does change, but for the eye you have the feeling, because the transitions are absolutely fluently, that nothing changes in the rhythm. I can achieve that, through many transitions, but the most important is to not “ pull the break” when collecting the trot and to not “ push away” when going into the extended trot. Important is to keep the horse in the forwards tendency, closed and to think of taking it back, although I ride an extended trot and the other way around. In the collection, think of extended trot, to promptly ask the horse to collect from behind to the front, from the hind leg, over the back and through the hand. (see video)

Canter Half Passes 

What is especially nice to produce is the forward-sideward movement with uphill fluency (in canter half passes). To train canter half passes, I first ride a line that I decide, not too steep, in a light leg yielding to make sure that the forwards and sidewards tendency in the movement remains. When that works good, I try to increase the flexion and bending piece by piece (see video)

Schooling Pirouettes

Helen schooling pirouettes on Vayron
To learn the pirouette I almost always begin to change the normal collected canter into a traver position on the circle line. Here I find it very important that you don’t ask or expect the very last collection. Most important is that despite the normal collection, the power to move forwards remains consistent and that you make sure your horse doesn’t just gets slower and that it’s always infront of your aids. When that works well, in the travers position as well as in the collection and I still can remain this forward tendency, I make the line smaller. Very important still, always just collect as much as the horse can remain in the forward tendency and position. When the power to still move forward in the collection is secured, then I start to turn smaller always with spotlight and attention on the basics when I started the pirouette work. Here by Vayron, you can see very clear and good that he starts to bend the hip- knee and hock joints and what an enormous talent for collection that is slumbering inside of him. (See video)

Picking up Passage

When I start to think of the passage, it’s important, in all the collection, not to forget to ride and not make everything just slower in the collection. In the beginning I don’t think of passage or collection at all, first of all I just try to find the small trot, that the horse understands. The movement, to shorten it, peace by peace, step by step, but not to loose the power and smoothness to move forward. I collect the horse and close it more in the body, through the clear impulse forward I try to not to make the horse to much aware of that the level is increasing 😉because of the consistency in riding forwards I give the horse the feeling that the collection dissolves. The importance of this is to be able to dissolve the collection forwards so that the horse not becomes behind your aids. (See Video)

Related Links
2014 Helen Langehanenberg Clinic in Berne: "Dare It, It's Only Training!" Welcomes 2012 Olympic Medalist Helen Langehanenberg
Langehanenberg to Headline 2014 British Dressage National Convention
History of French Equitation - Part III: Tradition Does Not Exclude Love for Progress