How Much Leg Tossing Do You Need?

Dressage with a flat mover – maybe not all that exciting.

But how much leg flinging do we need until it’s enough?

I’ve had to settle for a little, eh, less.  So far so good.

If I can eventually create something lively from my cross mare, it will make riding everything else later so much easier.  Her trot is still not all that elastic.  Through her work it has become much more springy (still an overstatement) but it’s smooth to sit and it DOES have life in it.  Once the ugly, reluctant, warmup is over, the hind leg is coming through nice.

very loose rein contact

This was back last fall and she’s gotten better.  Actually riding posting trot on contact is usually a good choice. 🙂

Mostly, I think it’ll be great if we can just get to where she looks smooth and harmonious.  If we don’t get spastic leg hurling with it, fine.


Canter is really coming along.  (Or was, since I’m not riding now.)  I swear she had a two or five beat canter to start.  Impossible?  Not really, it was awkward, or racing.  Now, after fumbling to find the right concoction of extracurricular (extraterrestrial?) training, it’s really developing.

I watched Alexis ride her (Sheesh, such a difficult mare!) and she looked good at the end!  Happy times!

Setting a new record in blurry pictures with another mare, Galana DA, and Alexis schooling.

grey andalusian

Now, this mare can move! 🙂

dressage horse cantering

I know these are terribly grainy images.  Just wanted to show you something from the Somerset arena.  Stay inspired with your regular-moving horses, spring is around the corner!

dressage trot

dressage canter

expressive trot

17 thoughts on “How Much Leg Tossing Do You Need?

  1. Have you seen the You Tube video of Carl Hester doing a masterclass with Charlotte D and Valegro in Denmark. I think it was early last year ( 2016) They work through exercises for the Grand Prix and then he has her do a stretching trot. He points out that Valegro’s normal trot is just a normal trot and that training has brought out the big expressive expansive trot. Worth looking at that video if you can find it. Also my daughter saw him do a; demo ride at Hartpury some years ago and he talked about the fact the flashy movers usually do not make it to GP as they break down. He said good training will improve the gaits. I know this to be true. I spent months in the summer working with Belinda on the trot and canter. Finally, and I mean finally ,I got the more expressive trot. He had a good trot before but the fancy one had to be worked for and that is not the trot we produce for warm up or for stretching at the end of a work session. So normal movers are ok just takes time and building of strength. I like the photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, oh I can always count on my peeps stepping in with just the right words!
      Thank you, it’s what we need to keep in mind, as we trudge along. I especially like to keep in mind the soundness factor. This is a huge on on my list, especially sinne I can really only afford ONE horse. So, that’s great stuff to keep in mind!
      Still, I did see Valegro in a really old video, as a young horse. He moved sublimely already. Not extravagant, of course, but it looked like you just had to breathe on him with pecan pie breath and he’d flutter away like an upper level horse 🏅
      You and me both, working really hard to get there 🐢


    1. 😘 that’s what I need to hear!
      Oh and, as long as I continue to come up with the right way to train.
      It’s what I like and hate as much at the same time with dressage – there’s no manual!!!


    1. Hi Nicole! No, I’m not entirely square on where Winters is even. This is in Shenandoah Valley, in actual Somerset.
      Maybe you should bring your guy for a long haul in and enjoy some major dressage gluttony!? 🙂


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