Manolo Mendez Dressage

Beyond Lateral Work: What comes after Lateral work?

by Manolo Mendez Specialist of in-hand and Classical Equitation with writer Caroline Larrouilh

This article originally appeared in Issue 8 of Baroque Magazine (November 2012, pg. 18)

Article Excerpt: Beyond Lateral Work: What comes after Lateral work?

What comes after lateral work? Once we have taught the horse all the different lateral movements, we should not think we are finished and our lateral training is over. On the contrary, through optimal diagonal training, working on two and three tracks, the lateral work together with the progressive development of the horse’s natural collection into self-carriage is what will allow us to continue developing a more even, regular, symmetric horse. A horse that is balanced and fit, and will be able one day to meet the physical demands of pirouettes, piaffe and passage with even tempo, confidence and ease. Why? Because working in correct flexion and developing even and regular diagonal pairing strengthen the horse while lateral work keeps him straight and supple.

By now, we have developed solid basics and a stable training foundation, and we can begin to introduce more refinements. Always making sure that Our foundation is solid and able to support the more demanding work we are adding to the training, so that the work is progressive and the horse is never overwhelmed physically or mentally.

We do not relegate the basics to the past thinking that we are now “advanced” and that our horse does not need basic work anymore. Sometimes, I will see a rider work its horse for an hour in a collected frame, or in a working frame, repeating the same exercises over and over. not allowing the horse any change of posture from the moment the rider sits in the saddle to when they disrnount. The rider thinks the horse is advanced and so should be ready for the more demanding work immediately but the horse does not know he is PSG or II or GR His body, muscles, tendons and ligaments have the same need as those of a green horse, and so does his mind...Read More on

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