TO BEGIN IN SHOULDER-IN

I like starting off some days in the schooling with a long session in the walk, collecting the horse, make shoulder-in or even slight shoulder-fore, then relax again, then bend the other way… maybe some leg-yield to get the hips of the horse more free. A few halts in a ramener (on the bit), brushing the spur very gently on one side to invite the horse to raise its rib and soften into the curve of the bend… The shoulder-in again on both sides, maybe on the centre line, maybe on the quarter line, maybe alternating with counter-shoulder-in… feelings just how the movement unlocks both sides of the horse’s body before we even think of trotting. Then the horse feels nice and ready… some days i need more energy and forwardness from the horse to start the session and forward trot is better than the walk suppling work…