Manolo Mendez Dressage

Feel, Technique & Compromise – The Foundation for any and all Training

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

This article originally appeared in Issue 3 of Baroque Magazine (January 2012, pg. 22)

Article Excerpt: Feel, Technique & Compromise – The Foundation for any and all Training

How important is technique combined with feel to training?

Many trainers and riders believe that the artistry of training is all in the technique. And while there can be no true artistry without technique, technique alone is not, and never can be, true artistry in itself. Training a horse well is a marriage of feel and technique, and feel and technique must be blended together. If you make a good marriage, the training will be easy. 

Technique is experimenting with the feedback you get from the horse.
Sometimes that feedback is good, sometimes not so good. Technique is how you use that feedback to get a better result on any given day. You have to learn when and how much technique to use at any time. That comes back to feel.

For example, we ask the horse to trot and it is nice, so we accept that. But if we ask for more and the horse says:
“That’s too much” and we insist – we force – the horse will resist on one way or another. Going too slowly can make a horse stiff. But going too fast will make a horse stiff, as well. We have to feel what the happy medium is for each horse…Read More on

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