Joyce's Training Map

Joyce Swanson’s Training Map – Introduction to Halt and Half Halt

Joyce Swanson's Training Map - Western Dressage

Review: The outside rein is the only rein a rider can effect a half-halt with to manipulate the hindquarters of the horse. This very powerful aid sinks the hindquarters into the ground which is indispensable for collection and lateral work. It is an elastic band that can create torque as the rider’s outside hand softly […]

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Joyce Swanson’s Training Map Part II – Difference Between the Inside and Outside Rein

Joyce Swanson's Training Map - Western Dressage

In the previous article, I emphasized a straight horse and rider. A rider is more effective using his large muscle groups; seat and legs rather than his small muscle groups, hands.  A secure seat and effective legs are paramount to good horsemanship.  Hands should be secondary because there is much more value in riding the […]

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Joyce Swanson Training Map – Riding Accurate Circles

Joyce Swanson Training Map for Western Dressage Association

We all know that dressage circles come in various sizes but not shapes.  Over the years, riders have tried to convince me and dressage judges, no less, that their interpretation of a circle was adequate.  The mathematical debates that suggest a perfect circle does not exist based on the imperfect π equation continues to elude […]

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Joyce Swanson Training Map – Circles

Joyce Swanson Training Map for Western Dressage Association

A brief history:  Federigo Grisone, a post Middle Age equestrian, must be credited with writing about the physiological significance of correct work on the circle.  I am inspired by his prowess at providing valuable visualizations with his words during an age sans (oops, he was Italian) DVDs.  Visualization of your horse’s anatomy is essential to […]

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Meet Joyce Swanson

Joyce Swanson Training Map for Western Dressage Association

Joyce Swanson has been a professional horse trainer since the mid-seventies. She started her show horse career competing in Open Hunter, Dressage and Combined Training.  The next twelve years were spent training and showing Arabians.  In 1986 her interests narrowed to one breed, the Morgan horse, to which she has devoted the last twenty-five  years.  […]

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