Think about "collection" when asking for a trot or canter extension, so that you remember to keep the rein connection and think about being more up in front, instead of down and out. This will help you to create a more uphill frame with more true hind leg engagement.
Never rush a horse into a complex of jumps that might be hard for him to understand quickly. The more complicated the combination, or the greener the horse, the more time you need to give them to assess the situation clearly.
Even if the rider has all of their body parts generally in the right place, they will feel out of balance and out of "sync" with their horse's movement when the shock absorbing joints in their hips and legs are locked and rigid.
A little trick for those of you who need to be more stable with your outside rein connection, and your outside hand in general, is to try the temporary exercise of holding onto your saddle pad with the fingers of your outside hand. Stabilizing your outside hand in this way will also help you to learn to better use your body, rather than your hands, to turn your horse.
"Dressage is not an easy sport, there are so many variations, but the reaction to your leg, and straightness, are so important. You just don’t see top Grand Prix riders kicking or straining for a result. Don’t tease him, tap there so quick he doesn’t know it is coming. Everything in a horse’s life should be black and white, not grey." ~ Debbie McDonald
The most energy efficient way for a horse to gallop cross country is to gallop in balance, so that very little adjustments are necessary in front of the fences. If you could gallop in such a way that a fence could drop from the sky and land in front of you when you are just 3 or 4 strides away, and you could jump it well - then you will be giving your horse the best chance to finish the course with plenty of gas in the tank.
Michael Jung says he puts particular emphasis on checking his horses’ heart and respiratory rate once before and twice after each ride, the first time immediately after work and the second time after the horse had time to recuperate.
Don't forget that the way the distance rides between two jumps changes as the fence height changes. The horse will land further into a line or combination when the jumps are larger, which makes the distance effectively shorter.
Be extra careful when conditioning both young horses and older horses. Young horses have tendon/ligaments/bones that have not yet been strengthened. And the older horse’s ligaments and tendons tend to become less elastic and resilient over time.
Sometimes what I see makes me crazy(er); so here are my own thoughts on the topic that I wish you would take into consideration when you lunge.It is said that whenever you work with your horse you are "training" him— sometimes for worse, sometimes for better but he will always draw some conclusion about what you have done. That said, from the moment you bring him out of his stall you should be "riding" him— directing him in a positive way to accede to your wishes. If you let him walk all over you in hand or pull his head down to grab at the grass when he feels like it, it will not bode well for work under saddle. (Click on Blog Title above to read full entry)
"Don't delude yourself into thinking that you have light, soft hands, if you ride with loose, almost dangling reins on a strung out horse. That can be done with insensitive hands as well. A soft hand requires the rider to feel whether the horse is softly on the bit, chewing, and whether it responds to a light pressure, in other words, whether it has an active mouth. If he rides with loose reins, the horse can have a dead mouth, which will only show up when you use the reins to stop or to shorten the strides, as it will either let you pull its nose onto its chest, or it will invert, and in both cases it will open its mouth." ~ Oskar M. Stensbeck
"When you're carrying a bag of feed over your shoulder and that bag slips, what do you do? You move underneath the bag. That’s exactly what happens to the horse. Every time you move, he's going to try to get underneath you. So, our job is to stay in the middle and not move around so much." ~ Buck Davidson