Manolo Mendez Dressage

Some Thoughts on Working In-Hand

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

This article originally appeared in Issue 5 of Baroque Magazine (May 2012, pg. 26)

Article Excerpt: Some Thoughts on Working In-Hand

In-hand work is an integral part of my training, one that I use it with every horse, from green to Grand Prix, as it prepares and eases them into the demands of ridden work. I use in-hand first to build a correct foundation
and then to help each horse progress along in his daily training, confirming the basics, working
on balance and rhythm and introducing or refining movements.

I find that it is a challenging but greatly rewarding way to gain insights into our horses’
minds and bodies and create a better working relationship with them.

Traditionally, in-hand work is used to teach Haute Ecole and piaffe and passage but I use it from the first moment a horse begins its training with me. I work in-hand with the young horse to teach him how to use his body properly so he can develop into a confident, strong, supple, and balanced horse. I help the horse build confidence and trust in himself and in me, and at the same time teach him balance and rhythm.

Good in-hand work requires great care on our part to exercise a sensitivity that we may not be able to display in our riding. It requires fitness and a mix of awareness, feel and timing...Read More on

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