Archive for the ‘Book News’ Category

It is very important to let the legs and thigh drape over the horse like a willow tree. Open the thighs from the crotch creating a big upside down U. If you create the slightest A with your legs, which would mean that you would be closing the thighs, even ever so slightly, you will begin to bounce on the horse. He then bounces you instead of you bouncing him. That is when things fall apart.

Relax the body and allow the hips to lead the shoulders and the knees. Leading with the hips balances the rider and allows the rider to mark the tempo of the stride.

The back must be strong and tall, the head must be in erect alignment over the spine so the rider can feel the weight of the head in the butt bones.

There must be no hinges in the back when you ride. The butt and legs must both be soft.

The rider needs a slight bend in the knee to soften the lower leg. Softening the lower leg also makes a way for the motion of the horse to escape through the knee. The rider must feel the motion of the trot, an up-down, up-down beat. As you feel the down beat of the trot, relax down with it allowing the motion of the horse to drop down, allowing it to drop past your seat and out the knee. If you don’t allow the motion to drop past your seat it will bounce back up through the body. So allow it to drop past your seat and shed from your body out the knee.

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Books One Three Four

Books One, Three, and Four can be purchased through paypal or by sending a check to

Carolyn Rose

849 Range Rd

Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426

For more information call 207-717-7701

Cost List

Book One                14.95    Balancing the Rider for Classical Dressage

Book Three            19.95    Backing the Young Horse for Classical Dressage

Book Four              29.95   A Book of Classical Dressage Training Through First Level


Total                    $64.85


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Follow Lydia Rose’s Training of Indie                                           Post # Two

Indie’s owner came to visit her to see how the training was going.  Lydia free lunged her, then lunged her with tack and side reins, then worked  her doing Piaffe.  Then Lydia brought her at the bleachers and had Kaylee sit on her and pat her rump and move all over with her legs and then  Lydia repeated the Piaffe work with Kaylee on Indie’s back.  Lydia and Kaylee had already spent time gradually getting her used to a rider just sitting on her.  Then I put Indie on a lunge line with Kaylee on her back at the walk.  Indie has become attached to Lydia, so she walked ahead of Indie so she  would feel secure.  We only did a very little so she wouldn’t get too nervous.  She was soooo good.
Her owner was pleased and proud of her horse. In the short time that she has been in for training (a little over a month), Indie has gone from a horse with no knowledge of what was expected of her, wild eyed and high strung, to a horse with calm attention and pride in herself and her work. We were so proud of Indie as well.
Indies training is following Book Three, “Backing the Young Horse”.

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 What is Classical Dressage  Series # One

Classical Dressage presents a horse and rider in perfect harmony with ease and grace.  The question is how is this accomplished?  In order to have a quiet graceful connection with your horse you must first figure out how to handle the motion of the horse.  Riders will handle the motion in many different ways. You will see riders sending it up through the body to a bobbing head, others will send it wiggling through the spine, others will take it into the hip and flip the hip.  All of these methods of dealing with the motion of the horse will shed it at the end of its rippling journey through the body, but it doesn’t present a Classical picture of graceful balance.  In order to present a classical picture you need to shed the motion down the thigh and out the knee, or allow the motion of the horse to fall your thigh and drop out your knee.  Also your connection with your horses mouth must be soft, yet asking and giving.  Whatever aids you choose to use must be invisible.  Thus a horse and rider with a Classical Dressage appearance.

All horses are trained in Classical Dressage the Aspirant Way at Isaac Royal Farm.   Each rider, rides her horse with a classical seat of elegant balance.  This technique allows you to become one with your horse and ride through the levels of dressage with ease and grace.  It creates a talented rider that can feel what her horse needs.   Carolyn Rose has written a series of books that explain this Classical Training technique in detail.

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The Aspirant Technique’s

Code of Ethics

Ride with Balance

Ride the language of the horse

Ride with understanding

Ride with partnership

Ride with light contact

Ride with a listening ear (to your horse)

Ride with treats

Ride with patience

Ride with peace

Ride with happiness

Ride with joy

Ride with love

Dance with your horse with lightness

Ride without spoiling the spirit of your horse

Ride without anger

Ride without frustration

Ride without noise in your head

Quiet your spirit and ride…

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Excerpts from Book Four

The use of the thigh as an aid,

merged with yielding are your foundation for

riding with lightness, ease and grace,

Added to respect, love and kindness.


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On Straightness – Excerpts from Book Four

In order to develop straightness your horse must be supple and have throughness.  In order to ride your horse to straightness he must first be able to bend.  He must be able to balance off the inside shoulder and have suppleness on both sides of his shoulders.  Straightness down the center line begins at Intro and follow you and your horse all the way to Grand Prix, along with straightness across the diagonals.  Your horse must also be straight on all straight lines and bent on all bent lines.  He must be able to walk, trot, and canter in shoulder fore before he is able to travel straight.  Shoulder fore is a fundamental foundation exercise, there are no short cuts.  If you have neglected this work or your horse has lost this work you need to go back and re-establish your straightness through shoulder fore.   Thereafter, you must ride stride after stride with the thought of maintaining your horse’s balance by being aware of the inside of your horse as to whether he is straight or out of balance on an inside shoulder or falling out through the outside shoulder.  A horse will fall out of straightness by leaning on the inside shoulder or the outside shoulder.  It is your job as a rider to maintain your horses straightness by your constant awareness of the outside and inside of your horse.  Shoulder fore is easily ridden by a slight roll of the thigh against the shoulder to ask the horse to yield off the inside shoulder.  Later a quick touch of the inside thigh will remind the horse to maintain his straightness.  He will always need you to be there for this elegant balance.

More on straightness in Book Four.

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What if the Horse Transitions to the Canter and Gallops Around the Ring?

    Canter Series # 13 Excerpts from Book Four

   This is sometimes the reaction of a Thoroughbred that you are trying to re-school off the tracks.  With a horse that races in the canter, canter around the ring  once and come back to the walk, change direction and canter on the other lead.  This is called doubling.  As you double back and change the direction each time you canter, he will slow down and starting thinking about his work instead of running.  Your horse will think you are in control because you keep asking him to change direction.  It is a gentle way of taking control.  This helps the horse to balance and to stay with the relaxation you have already created in him.  He soon learns he isn’t on a racing track, but that as soon as he gets going he will be asked to stop and change direction.  This prevents the horse form setting his sites on the gallop.  Work in this way as long as needed.  If the horse fights the down transition then you can incorporate treats into your routine to change his way of thinking.  Each time you transition down; give the horse a treat so he anticipates the transition.  This changes his mind set so that the galloping is not as enjoyable as the stopping.  The Training Level tests are where the canter begins and the exercises in these tests are great for your horse to learn because they are of short duration.

We are a breding barn and have started hundred and four horses under saddle with great success, let us know if this works for you, or if you have difficulties.


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What Do You Do if the Horse Cross Canters?

Canter Series # 12 Excerpt from Book Four  

Cross-cantering means that the horse is on one canter lead in the front and the opposite canter lead in the hind. This would be an example of incorrect rhythm at the canter. This is a common problem in young horses and older horses that have not been ridden with their hind legs engaged and their backs up. 

 First determine if the horse’s cross cantering is caused by an injury or not.  If it is, consult your vet and determine what course of action you should take.

 Second, look at your trot work.  Is the horse balanced off the inside shoulder and using his hind legs?  If the horse is on the forehand with a hollow back then it will be difficult for him to maintain a balanced canter and he will switch leads to compensate.  The canter comes out of the trot.  Some trainers might tell you to canter around and around the ring, pushing the horse forward to strengthen the hind, but that is usually counter productive.  The horse will simply practice incorrectly, cross cantering as often as he feels out of balance.  Cantering up hills will help to strengthen the hind legs if you have access to trails and fields.  If you are confined to an indoor arena, as some of us are during the winter season, practice your trot work, engaging the horse’s hind legs more and more.  Canter each day, but only for a short duration.  Canter around the arena once, stop, change direction, and canter on the opposite lead.  Keep your canter short enough for the horse to maintain the proper canter. 

 Do not get anxious when the horse breaks in the canter and start pushing and pushing until he goes back to the canter.  By the time the horse picks up the canter again he has picked up speed and lost his hind legs out behind him and then he goes racing around the arena.  That isn’t what you want.  My best advice is to stay relaxed when starting the canter.  If your horse breaks in the canter, relax and come back to the walk, so you can reorganize and lift back up into the canter.  Remember to engage the hind legs so that the horse can carry himself with balance, with a brush of the whip, and a reminder with your legs.  This will keep the canter organized and your horse will be able to hold his canter lead better and better in each training session.

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Canter Series # 11  Excerpts from Book One 

Trained in the Aspirant Technique, this rider, Kaylee Clark, eleven yrs old in this picture,  is in free balance and able to gallop the field without the use of reins or legs – simple balance off her seat.

I first saw this position of horse and rider in the movie “Dances with Wolves” and immediately instituted it as an exercise in the Aspirant Technique.  Over the years it has created strong riders.

This same summer, with her strong core of balance, she was able to ride a hot young horse at first level  so successfully that the judge thought the horse was an old school master.  The horse was only five.

Currently she is schooling her horse and another horse at third level and plans to show third level this summer.

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