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Learn from Mark Russell as he teaches seven different horses to release the jaw, poll, and neck to relax and soften the horse to the aids. These are the essential first steps to softly shaping the horse, avoiding both psychological and physiological stress on the path to riding as an Art Form.
Famed educator and author of Lessons in Lightness (with contributions from Jillian Kreinbring MS), and featured in the DVD Lessons in Lightness: Building the Horse’s Foundation in Hand, Mark was a master of equine biomechanics. In this video Mark will help you address common challenges that come up in the process of teaching the horse to relax on request. As with mostly all lessons, this process begins on the ground to help minimize worry on the part of the horse and to progressively layer in information in the easiest of ways.
It is only in relaxation of the jaw, poll, and neck that the rider can begin to access and develop the horse optimally both psychologically and physiologically. It is thus requisite in advancing the horse to their best possible functioning, health, and performance. Once the student learns to navigate the process, the horse will begin to seek relaxation himself and a positive feedback loop of progress can begin. Relaxation allows the horse to access healthy ways of both being and going, paving the path to Art Form Riding.
Because of prior experience, anxiety, or injury, some horses first introduced to this approach may become confused, defensive, or may be physically or psychologically challenged in some way. In the video, you will see Mark teaching seven different horses in clinic settings. Each horse has a different set of challenges. The work is done on the ground, with the simple bridle teaching the horse to release, relax at the jaw, poll, and neck, and to accept the bit and the soft contact. This work is essential to all progress in riding and, left unaddressed, can be the very reason riders and horses are mysteriously “held back” in their progress. Relaxation is foundational. Releasing the Jaw, Poll and Neck: More Lessons in Lightness with Mark Russell is intended to be used in conjunction with the author’s other works: Lessons in Lightness, Expanded Edition and Lessons in Lightness: Building the Horse’s Foundation in Hand DVD. However it can easily be used independently as an educational resource.
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