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Moving the Hips: Fluidity More with Les


W


hen you see the best equine ath- letes performing, you’ll notice that although they exhibit tremendous


power, every movement is fl uid and relaxed. There is no tension or stiff ness anywhere. If this type of performance is your ultimate goal, the fi rst thing you need to check on is your own riding. When you ride, are you fl uid and relaxed, with no tension or stiff - ness anywhere? Many novice riders get so focused on what they want their horses to do that they forget about themselves. Soon they end up carrying a lot of tension in


Foundation Training for the Performance Horse with Les Vogt


Les Vogt has won more than 15 World Championships, including two wins at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Today Les focuses is giving clinics around the world and developing products for the performance horseman. To learn more about Les and to see his clinic schedule, visit www.lesvogt.com.


diff erent parts of their body, shoulders in particular and your horse will respond to your tension. Stiff ness in the rider results in movements and cues that are laborious and abrupt instead of smooth and fl owing, and the end result will be resistance and stiff - ness in the horse. This is why many of the exercises in this part of the program we’re looking at in July and August issues are designed to help you develop your cues until they almost happen on their own so you can stay relaxed and responsive in the saddle. Be happy with just a few steps at a time


because this is a diffi cult exercise for your horse. As he gets bet er at it you’ll be able to go further and even try it at the trot. If you fi nd that he’s not moving his ribs away from your leg as you’d like, go back to the fence to tune him up. By the time you’re done with this level, you should be able to two-track the entire diagonal length of your arena. But plan on taking at least a month to get there!.


–Les


4 3


switch leg, move into “B” position


the horse should maintain a lit le forward motion as he moves sideways


move leg back into “C” position


you may need to check with inside rein: maintain enough contact to keep the shoulder from leading


FROM EXERCISE 3 TO 4


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