elegant_dressage_trainingThis video features the work of Anja Beran along with her mentor Manuel Jorge de Oliveira. It was a pleasure to watch such quiet, correct riding and handling. In the video we are introduced to several different horses to demonstrate different aspects of the training. First, we are encouraged to observe the horse in his natural state, free and on the longe line in order to assess his natural abilities and crookednesses. Over the course of the video, in-hand work, early riding and advanced riding are demonstrated. All of the horses were relaxed and balanced. It was emphasized several times that no auxiliary reins are ever used in training.

I especially enjoyed the special segment at the end in which the rehabilitation of a horse who had been ruined through poor riding is examined.  They show the horse at the beginning of the process, then again at 3 months, 6 months, and a year later.   In the beginning the horse is stiff, out of shape, unbalanced and tense by the end he is rounder, softer, happier and demonstrating very nice work including a correct piaffe.

The riding was lovely to watch but I also appreciated the whole positive attitude shown.  The horse’s willing participation, his satisfaction, was paramount.  Progress comes through frequent, brief demands, followed by generous reward.  Walking on a long rein with the neck stretching naturally down occurred frequently throughout training.   I could not help but smile when during the part where they are talking about teaching the rehab horse to halt square (with the help of the touch of a whip on the hindleg) that “treats are like a miracle” in their ability to help the horse feel OK about halting square.

All in all a very inspirational viewing experience.