Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Interest boosted for 'on the bit' workshops

TWO NEW 'on the bit' workshop sessions are attracting major interest among riders.

Organised by Laura Domenica of Connected Horsemanship, the clinics begin at the Eclipse Equestrian and Adventure Centre in Kenmare, Co Kerry, and in Tralee, and run from tomorrow until Sunday.

The workshops continue on Saturday, September 25-27, at Millicksbridge Equestrian Centre, Freemount, Charleville, Co Cork.

"As I teach around the country I am often asked 'how do I get my horse on the bit?'," said Laura.

"While most people understand that it has got little to do with the horse having a nice 'headset' and everything to do with the engagement of the hind legs and the lifting of the horse's back, many people lack a clear understanding of how to get themselves and their horses to that point in a practical sense.

"This clinic is for anyone who has pondered that question."

Over the two days of the workshop Laura will explain, demonstrate and teach the following:


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  • Understanding brace in the horse and how it affects behaviour, relaxation, and learning.
  • Understanding the difference between a 'headset' and the horse moving freely in balance and 'being through his back'.
  • Understanding the relationship between energy, alignment and relaxation to achieve balance.
  • The role of longitudinal and lateral 'bend' in achieving 'throughness' and the role of the aids in helping the horse understand what we want.

Practicals for horses

  • Learning how to diagnose brace and releasing it through Connected Horsemanship groundwork exercises.
  • Learning to develop an awareness of working with bend and with diagonal balance.
  • Timing and release of the aids, teaching the horse to move the different parts of his body independently and teaching the horse his responsibilities.
  • Developing the soft halt and the back up, and using counter diagonals at trot to balance the horse and create alignment.

Practical for rider

  • Understanding and developing balance, alignment and use of the core in the rider to allow the horse to come in balance.
  • Learning not to pull and developing an appropriate contact through the reins.
  • Learning to dissolve brace and create thoroughness under saddle through Connected Horsemanship- ridden exercises.

For more information, contact Laura on 086 823 9679, email info@connected or log on to www.connected

Irish Independent