We ride our problems into our horses

Lately I started fixating on Juliano's well being, again. Especially his neck, shoulder muscles and topline. I looked through the books I have on this topic, and to be honest one thing is consistent through all types of books: relaxation. Whether is an anatomy DVD, classical dressage book, savvy magazine or veterinary book. If you want your horse to be well and correctly build you have to work on his mental and physical relaxation! This is nothing new, we've heard it a thousand times from Pan & Linda "Mental/emotional relaxation is number one". But I was surprised that word "relaxation" is so widely present in classical books and the authors put great emphasis on that. I was surprised because most of the dressage riders I watch these seem to forget all about it.

Dr. Gerd Heuschermann in his book "Tug of War - Classical versus Modern Dressage" writes:

The great importance of looseness

Looseness is a central criterion for a horse's entire training... only through looseness can:
1. The gaits remain pure
2. The horse achieve the optimal muscle tone
3. Real collection be achieved
4. Complete "throughness" be attained
5. The horse develop its maximum capacity to perform without getting tired.

I decided to set my goal for this month to total relaxation. On-line and freestyle, especially finesse. I will not put any pressure on Juliano and I will be not trying to tech him new things until I either see he is getting bored or I can see he is loose and ok with the element he is doing. This may mean we will have to walk only for some time. I don't care :) it's time to relax even more.

Unfortunately Juliano picked up on my contemplating mood yesterday and he seemed a bit sad to me, or maybe he was just calm. If you have a LBE and you don't see him go nuts you automatically think he is sad. Well Juliano definitely put his Zen mode on yesterday.

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