Manolo Mendez Dressage

Lateral Work (Part 2): The Marriage of Lateral Work and Natural Collection

by Manolo Mendez Specialist of in-hand and Classical Equitation with writers Ysabella Dean and Caroline Larrouilh

This article originally appeared in Issue 7 of Baroque Magazine (August 2012, pg. 30)

Article Excerpt: Lateral Work (Part 2): The Marriage of Lateral Work and Natural Collection

Lateral work consists of the shoulder-in, travers, renvers and half pass. We begin by introducing the simple shoulder-in and, when the horse understands it and can do it easily, we progress to travers (quarters-in) and renvers (quarters-out).

When these movements are established we introduce the half pass. While we train, our focus should be on building the horse’s fitness, straightness, suppleness and confidence. Not on how much flexion and crossing we can create, even if we have a very obedient and athletic but untrained horse. We want to develop our horse progressively so he stays sound and happy in his work throughout his career To that end, we do not ask for too much lateral flexion or continuous lateral work. For example, in the early stages, we do not ride lateral movements across entire long walls, across the entire length of the diagonal or around the arena again and again. Instead we take our time, we break the work into manageable chunks and we give the horse plenty of breaks when he can walk or work straight. This ensures the horse does not get sore or discouraged and thus helps ensure the horse does not get crooked as a result of too much pressure, too soonRead More on

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