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Working In hand - Part One

“The working in hand is a valuable aid in the training of the horse, because he learns through this work, when correctly done, to collect himself, to round himself, and to carry himself forward in balance; and to move laterally and to bend; to rein-back and to mobilise himself.” Nuno Oliveira.

The work in hand using the Cavesson should be introduced early in the horse’s training at the same time as the lunge work. To understand this I refer you to the chapter 14 in “Dressage Principles and Techniques: A Blue print for the Serious Rider” by Miguel Tavora.


The video here shows the method I was taught by Miguel. Bluefields Fiderglanz (Piccolo) is in a double bridle working on the piaffe. Piccolo is still learning piaffe and utilising in hand work aids his progression.


The first step in the progression to piaffe in hand is the shoulder in on the circle. I am holding the left reins in my left hand close to the bit with the reins going over my hand as in lunging and driving. The right hand reins pass over the horse at the base of the neck. The action of the left hand on the reins is a soft squeeze in an upward direction, never in a backwards direction. The right hand action is to stop an over bending to the left. The whip is held in the right hand and touches the gaskin to make his quarters move to the right. As the horse steps forward I walk backwards in a small circle asking for the horse to bend and flex to the left, performing shoulder in on a small circle around me. Of course, this is done on both reins.


If you are interested in learning more about in hand work I will be uploading the next steps weekly here. Please subscribe to my website to get real time notifications on new posts and information.


If you have further questions or comments please feel free to comment below.





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