Video: Connected Riding and Groundwork

This video features the work of Peggy Cummings.  It has a lot to offer in terms of finding a balanced seat and feel and showing how these factors can really influence the horse’s relaxation and balance.  There are concepts that are near and dear to my heart so it was a pleasure to see the same ideas reiterated with different words.  There were a few before and after examples in which these changes were demonstrated.  This is a good video watch for those who are working on establishing these most fundamental of basics in themselves and in their horse.

There were a couple of unique features of her work.  One unique thing was the way she utilized a halter and some rope for her groundwork.  She didn’t discuss it specifically so I had to make some assumptions about her goal with the set up.  She used a regular leather halter with fleece padding the nose band.  Then she took what looked like a length of climbing rope and threaded it somehow through the side rings to end up with the rope criss-crossed over the fleece padded nose.  The result was a kind of make-shift side-pull.  I got the impression that the gain out of all that was snug but comfortable head gear, all the better to transmit ‘feel’ to the horse.  I’m all ‘for’ that!

The other aspect to her work was the way she used ‘combing’ or stroking the reins.  She did this both in the saddle as well as on the ground.  It seemed to me the benefit of that technique was that it presented a softly mobile contact with the horse’s mouth (or head when on the ground).  Those who ride with me will frequently hear about keeping the shoulders mobile so that the horse doesn’t ever encounter a static/stiff feel.  It seemed to me that the stroking/combing technique filled a similar niche.

All in all a worthwhile experience watching this one.