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Painting of Maestoso II Catrina ridden by Shana Ritter. Painting by Janey Belozer.

Thomas and Shana Ritter perform a Pas-de-Deux to Music during the 2007 Open House Performance, aboard the Lipizzan stallions, Favory Toscana-18 and Conversano Mima. Photo by Amelia Gagliano.

Causes of Resistances
- by Dr. Thomas Ritter
©2007 All Rights Reserved

  1. If the rider is crooked and unbalanced, his hips and shoulders will be stiff, and he will have to grip with his hands and legs to stay on the horse. These stiffnesses and imbalances will automatically cause stiffnesses and resistances in the horse's body.

  2. Poorly timed and poorly coordinated aids will create resistances in the horse. Crooked and unbalanced riders will not be able to time and coordinate their aids properly.

  3. Riding with an inconsistent tempo, stride length, and energy level creates resistances in the horse. So does riding with a tempo that is either too slow or too fast, or with an energy level that is too low or too high.

  4. Riding sloppy arena patterns, including poorly executed corners, will create resistances in the horse, because the horse's hips and shoulders are not aligned on the chosen track. This means that the horse is crooked. Crookedness is a form of imbalance, and imbalances always result in braced muscles in certain body parts.

  5. Riding on the forehand creates resistances, because a horse who is on the forehand is unbalanced.

  6. Allowing the horse to go above the bit, or behind the bit, and behind the leg causes resistances, because the faulty posture makes the horse brace in certain muscle groups.

  7. Past training errors may cause resistances in the present, because imbalances, asymmetries, poor posture, and muscle stiffnesses have become habitual, and the present rider, who may be innocent of these resistances, now has to eradicate them.

  8. Excessive demands will certainly create resistances.

  9. A lack of discipline and consistency in handling and training will always create resistances.

  10. Shortcomings in the horse's conformation, such as a thick poll/throat latch connection, a short, thick neck, a neck that is set on too high or too low, a long, weak back, or a short, tight back, straight hind leg angles, croup high conformation, e.g. will cause the horse to resist.

  11. Lack of connectivity

  12. Lack of obedience/attentiveness/responsiveness is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the art of Classical Dressage.
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