Equestrian Training Scale: Connection – Video
US Dressage Federation (USDF) gold, silver and bronze medalist, Lena Nordlof-Davis, explains and demonstrates Connection as it relates to the Equestrian Training Scale (aka Training Pyramid).
The principles outlined in the training scale form the foundation to help you reach your full potential in show jumping. From the German Training Scale it is called Anlehnung (Contact or Connection).
What Is Connection?
Refers to the horse accepting the contact of the bit.
To achieve this, we want to ride “back to front” with the leg aids, never pulling the horse down into the connection
The goal is to drive the horse forward into the contact of the bit. We want the horse to be able to accept the bit without resistance or being upset.
What Does Connection Look Like?
We’re looking for a nice, taut rein, not pulling on the horse’s mouth.
If the reins are flopping in the wind like an empty sail, that would meant there is no connection.
The connection should be soft with the arms acting like rubber bands so you’re not restricting the connection.
Our goal is an accepting soft connection from both the horse and rider.