Tag Archives: Christoph Hess

Dressage4Kids Tips: Ride Better with Christoph Hess

Straightness – A Challenge

Practically every horse has a natural asymmetry. Eliminating this asymmetry and thus straightening the horse is a central task of basic training.

Every rider must realize there is no such thing as an “absolutely” straight horse. This means that all riders, regardless of discipline or level, must rise daily to the challenge of straightening their horses.

The Corner – A Bending Line

It sounds counterintuitive, but what really helps is riding correctly through the corners. Every corner that the rider travels helps her straighten the horse. A corner is a quarter-volte, provided that it is ridden through correctly. How deeply you ride into the corners will depend on your horse’s age and, above all, level of training.

This means you won’t ride quite as deeply into the corners with a five-year-old (picture a 10-meter volte) as you would with an older and/or more highly trained horse. In this case, you could imagine a volte with a six-meter radius. What does experience tell us? Perhaps you are not riding the corners as quarter-voltes. The horse is not being positioned and bent through the corner. Often, the corners are ridden very flat and the horse does not come through with his hindquarters in the direction of his forehand. Often, the hindquarters fall out.

Therefore, you must give the task of riding bend through the corners special attention. When you can get successful “straight bending work” in the corners, it helps you correct the horse’s asymmetry and improve his straightness. At the same time, you are improving the horse’s obedience to your leg aids, which is especially important for the horse’s durchlässigkeit. This should apply regardless of how deeply you are riding through the corners.

If the rider goes large around the whole arena and rides through every single corner correctly – that is, her inside leg is driving the horse to the outside rein and she has the feeling that the horse is bending around this leg – she is on the correct path. Every time she rides through a corner, she must be able to feel forward with her inside rein, without this changing the horse’s connection and balance.

Thank you to Martha Cook and Trafalgar Square Books for providing this excerpt. Ride Better with Christoph Hess is available at Trafalgar Square Books. D4K friends can use the code D4K2020 and receive 25% off.

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Christoph Hess and Linda Parelli Create The Scale of Training in Action DVD Series

Christoph Hess and Linda Parelli during one of the lessons featured in the Scale of Training in Action DVD. (Photo courtesy of Parelli Natural Horsemanship)

Pagosa Springs, CO – (July 31, 2014) – Dressage training is systematic and based on the classical training scale, but often it is a complex task for riders to assimilate the training scale into their day-to-day riding programs. To help riders and trainers incorporate these principles into their riding programs, Linda Parelli of Parelli Natural Horsemanship and acclaimed FEI dressage judge and trainer Christoph Hess have developed and released their latest collaborative educational DVD, The Scale of Training in Action. Devoted to accurately depicting and explaining the application of the classical training scale, The Scale of Training in Action walks viewers through daily training sessions with horses and riders at various points in their training, all while applying the training scale to their work. The horse and rider combinations in the DVD series include a rider just starting out in dressage, an accomplished FEI level competitor, Linda Parelli and her own horse (who are developing impulsion and thrust in their dressage work), and an accomplished eventer and his young horse.

As a core philosophy in dressage, the training scale’s progressive system of concepts should be established in the horse and rider in successive order. Because of this, correct training in the beginning is essential to long-term success, and riders from all disciplines can benefit from following its ordered structure: rhythm, relaxation, contact, impulsion, straightness, and collection. Using exercises to improve each horse and rider’s overall connection, Hess coaches Liz Jones, Tik Maynard, Linda Parelli, and Mette Larsen through two lessons apiece. Parelli also brings her own unique insight on the importance of equine psychology and how it can be applied to the classical training scale, creating an invaluable source of information for riders across a variety of disciplines.

“In my point of view, the training scale is a proper guide for schooling and training a horse,” says Hess. “Horses that are trained strictly in proper training are ridden correctly in the sense of biomechanics, are matured within their personality, and fulfill the required tasks with joy, good elasticity, and economics of movement. I recommend riders and trainers stick to the criteria of the training scale, regardless of their personal level of riding and their objectives. It will serve them every time.”

Hess and Parelli have a long history of collaboration. Both were headline presenters at the 2013 Dressage Summit in Wellington, Florida, a groundbreaking event that featured the top minds in classical horsemanship and natural horsemanship. Additionally, they worked together to produce Parts I and II of their Scale of Training DVD series in 2012. The Scale of Training in Action continues this legacy of good basics, classical horsemanship, and the natural methods developed by the Parellis to bring a more harmonious experience to riders and trainers across the world.

“Christoph Hess is one of the most positive, passionate teachers I have ever encountered,” says Linda Parelli. “His interest in how Parelli works to get horses more calm, connected and responsive mirrors many of his goals for horses and riders incorporating the training scale. Together our goal is to entice more riders into dressage from the natural horsemanship world, increase the dressage rider’s feeling of success and growth, and underline how powerful the training scale is when you understand how to use it.”

For more information on The Scale of Training in Action, call 855-PARELLI or visit http://www.shop.parelli.com or YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/q3wwkbe.

Press Contact:
Madeline Stewart
Public Relations and Media Coordinator
Parelli Natural Horsemanship
(970) 731-6227

The 2013 Dressage Summit

A Rare Opportunity for Dressage Enthusiasts to Engage with an Unprecedented Lineup of the World’s Top Trainers

Christoph Hess and Linda Parelli schooling Emily Wagner aboard the 6-year-old AWR stallion WakeUp. (Photo courtesy of Parelli Natural Horsemanship)

Wellington, FL (November 13, 2012) – For dressage enthusiasts, winter in Wellington is the best way to usher in the new year. Each year, familiar faces and new ideas, steeped in long standing traditions, are a big part of the equestrian community celebrations.  2013 will be no exception, especially with the debut of the Dressage Summit, a 3-day unprecedented event bringing together the best of classical dressage, competitive dressage training and natural horsemanship methods presented by five of the top names in the business. Featuring Klaus Balkenhol, Walter Zettl, Christoph Hess, and Linda and Pat Parelli, The Dressage Summit will focus on working together to build stronger horse/human partnerships in classical dressage. These renowned presenters will demonstrate how to apply the fundamental principles of classical dressage to every level of the sport while respecting the dignity of both horse and human. This groundbreaking collaboration between dressage masters and top horsemen provides an exciting new perspective where dressage and natural horsemanship converge to enhance the training of the dressage athlete.

Continue reading The 2013 Dressage Summit