This page presents an overview of our plan for product development in this area.
In this area of our website, our goal is to help you build the basic and intermediate riding skills you need to get off to a great start in virtually any riding discipline (we’ll deal with advanced and specialized skills in the areas of our website dedicated to specific show circuits).
If you’re lucky, you’re already learning these kinds of skills from a highly qualified riding instructor. In fact, we should emphasize at the outset that video training is used best to complement your work with an instructor, not replace it. There is simply no way to replace immediate feedback from an experienced eye.
That said, we’ve always found it incredibly valuable to enrich a training program with review of training videos, for several reasons:
- It helps to review lessons in the context of a well-organized curriculum. This helps you see not just where you are in the learning process, but also where you’re going and how skills build on one another (instructors often don’t have time to do this for you, so you should see it as part of your homework).
- You get another viewpoint on each skill, and another way of explaining things, which can help a great deal and often leads to new insights.
- It can help you get out of a rut when you seem to be going over the same thing time and again with your instructor.
- And perhaps most importantly, it gives you the ability to work on your riding even when you’re not at the barn.
Of course, if you don’t have access to a good instructor and have to learn mostly on your own, there’s simply no substitute for high-quality video instruction of the kind we’re offering here.
The other point we make is that we’re putting great effort into bringing you the very best instruction and doing what it takes to deepen your understanding of riding. So we’re confident our videos are going to trigger new insights and raise your level of performance, even if you’re already working with a great instructor.
You’ll find many of these insights in the special-topics videos that complement our core curriculum. So check out our initial plan for special topics at the end of this page.
Our Core Riding Instruction Curriculum
We’re just starting to get development of our core curriculum underway, but are planning to focus on issues such as the following.
It’s important to get off to a good start, and this series of lessons will help you do just that. It will cover such basics as safety, developing seat balance, using reins, steering and controlling speed at the walk and trot, posting and using a half-seat at the trot, making smooth transitions and riding over ground poles.
Improving the Walk and Trot
This program will focus on improving basic skills. It will deal with things such as improving the half seat, seat balance at the walk and trot, use of reins, making turns in the ring, steering through cones and posting on the correct diagonal.
Cantering on the Flat
This series of lessons will help you develop a good seat at the canter, canter on the correct lead, make smooth transitions to and from the canter, and control speed and steering at the canter.
Beginning to Jump
Getting started on jumping involves practicing approaches, jumping ground poles and cross-rails, jumping lines of poles and cross-rails and jumping courses of poles and cross-rails at the trot. These lessons will guide you through all of these steps.
Advanced Beginner Flatwork
With these basics in place, it’s time to move on to advanced beginner skills. These include improving balance and suppleness, sitting at the trot, reining back, refining leg, rein and seat aids, and improving steering and speed control even more.
Advanced Beginner Jumping
Then we wrap up beginner lessons by developing a greater range of jumping skills. These include jumping more challenging lines and courses of cross-rails, jumping a second rail in a line at the canter, and then jumping lines and courses at the canter. We also include a basic review of cross-country riding (we’ll cover eventing skills in a separate area of the website that we’ll add later).
Intermediate Flatwork 1
Moving on to intermediate skills, we’ll improve flatwork and jumping in three distinct stages. Regarding flatwork, this first series of intermediate lessons will help you soften your seat and legs, use whips and spurs effectively, ride with light rein contact, improve responses to leg aids, smooth out transitions and make ring figures more accurate.
Intermediate Jumping 1
Turning to jumping, we’ll help you improve jump timing, fine-tune your releases, jump verticals and oxers and develop better control over pace and stride. We’ll also provide another review of cross-country riding.
Intermediate Flatwork 2
Then we’ll move things up a notch by focusing on riding without stirrups at the trot and canter, improving hands and contact, using and coordinating aids better, maintaining rhythm and gaits, making square halts, maintaining straightness and bending and riding the hand gallop.
Intermediate Jumping 2
Turning back to jumping, we’ll then cover jumping without stirrups, using the automatic release, improving approaches, striding and take-off distances, jumping two-stride and one-stride combinations, and walking and planning a course.
Intermediate Flatwork 3
Finally, we’ll cap off our intermediate training on the flat with a variety of lessons and exercises. These will focus on riding more accurate circles and figure-eights, riding serpentines, improving response to the bit and rein aids, mastering half-halts, refining transitions and bending, lengthening and shortening stride, and mastering laterals and rein-backs.
Intermediate Jumping 3
To conclude our intermediate training on jumping, we’ll then deal with refining jumping seats, correcting horse faults, correcting seat faults, jumping without reins or stirrups, and correcting hand and release faults.
We’ll produce a similar series of programs to help Western riders develop their basic and intermediate skills. We’re still outlining these programs.
Five Big Difference Makers: Advanced Beginner Riders
Every rider hits plateaus when all progress seems to come to a halt. Quite often, such a plateau is defined by an inability to grasp what success is supposed to feel like in the saddle. In this program, we’ll help riders get through five of the biggest obstacles to making fast progress as a beginner. These include developing a feel for the diagonal, mastering canter departures, mastering the circle of aids/motion, developing a better feel for rhythm at various gaits and developing a deeper understanding of conditioned response in horses.
Five Big Difference Makers: Intermediate Riders
This program takes the same approach for intermediate riders. Again, there are times when a rider hits the wall in terms of discovering what success is supposed to feel like. It may be a matter of establishing a good frame on the bit, letting go to slow down, or rating your horse from the seat. This program will target five such challenges for quick resolution.
Five Big Difference Makers: Advanced Riders
Even advanced riders can get stuck as they learn to help their horses become better athletes. There’s just no question that improving things such as rhythm and collection takes a lot of feel, and this type of feel doesn’t necessarily come quickly. We’ll target five of the biggest challenges advanced riders face, from using leverage properly to teaching behavior modification to a horse.
Developing Balance on the Lunge Line
Working on the lunge line can produce extraordinary results when approached correctly. This video will focus on lunge-line techniques that accelerate the development of good balance in the saddle.
Develop Show-Ready Riding Skills
Many riders, especially beginners, have difficulty translating what they’ve learned in their home arenas to the show ring. Yet there’s a great deal a rider and instructor can do to smooth out this transition. This program will provide techniques and exercises that will help you perform as well or better in the show ring than you do at home.
Move Up to a More Responsive Horse
Moving up to intermediate levels of competition demands that you learn how to handle more responsive horses that are far more sensitive to what you do and less tolerant of mistakes. This program will focus on key aspects of building the kinds of skills you need to succeed at this.
Help Your Horse Become a Better Athlete
Moving up to advanced levels of competition shifts emphasis to helping your horse become a better athlete. No longer is it enough to get your horse around the ring without making a big mistake. Now you have to help him improve such things as his rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and collection. This series will take on a variety of issues involved in making this transition.
Become a More Adaptable Rider
Horses constantly present their riders with new challenges, and many of these challenges require that a rider change her approach to get good results. In addition, any rider who becomes too fixed in her riding style invites problems, because horses are expert at figuring out ways to “cheat” the system. This set of lessons will help you adapt to changing conditions and keep your horse’s performance at a high level.
Become a More Intuitive Rider
Part of what it means to become an expert at something is making the transition from simply doing what you’ve been taught to being able to solve problems on your own intuitively. When it comes to performing in the show ring, nothing could be more important, because your horse is always throwing new challenges at you. So this program will lay out a strategy for developing this kind of capability.
Sign Up for Product Announcements
We’re sure you’ll find these videos to be valuable resources as you work on your riding skills.
So, make sure you use the form to the right on this page to sign up for product announcements. That way you’ll be among the first to know when each new product becomes available.
And sign up to receive alerts for articles on Lindsey’s blog. Many of the upcoming articles will focus on the issues described above.
Finally, we’d love to get your feedback on which product(s) you’d like to see next, even if it’s not on our list. Send us your ideas via our suggestion box.