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Restrictions can aid our learning. A restriction limits options, making it easier to find the best choice. 

We do this for our horses when we set up our training environment so they can successfully do what we are asking. For example, placing poles along the side of a jumping grid to correct a horse that is drifting to one side through the grid. 

We can also use restrictions to improve our own riding through exercises that help us feel an aligned position and better movement. 

In this interview I did with Wendy Murdoch several years ago, learn why restrictions can be so helpful. 

Then, I have a simple exercise that will help you have softer hands and clear rein aids for your horse. 

This will improve the position and movement of your arms and your ability to ride from your seat, especially through turns. 

Click play below to watch the video! 


Bring fun and purpose to every ride

with my Book - Stay in the Saddle - 67 Exercises for Horse and Rider

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Daily exercises for an immovable seat, steady hands, and a happier horse

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Instructed by: Callie King
A comprehensive program on horse behavior, training, and riding. Ride with balance and learn to communicate effectively with your horse. Learn riding in a completely new way!
Instructed by: Callie King
Our popular book + video program. Includes 67 Exercises for horse and rider to bring fun and purpose to every ride.

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23 Responses

  1. Hello Callie,

    I love watching the videos and listening to you explain everything simply. That is what I need. However, I am having a hard time trying to do some of these exercises as I do not ride English. I ride western. Can you tell me if the same principles apply to the lessons?

    Next week I will be semi retired and I am so looking forward to being able to finally ride more and focus on me and Rio! 🙂

    1. Tami, absolutely! These same exercises can be beneficial and done in a western saddle 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  2. First, I had a laugh at myself. When I read your email that there is an exercise to watch I read it as: The exercise will help with your SLEEP, (how does one get sleep out of steering) and keep the horses shoulder from falling in. Wow, how fascinating I thought!
    Once at the video my reading improved! Great video and good reminder to get out your excellent book.

    1. Your comment made me laugh Marjorei, maybe you are seeing what you may need a little more of!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  3. Hi Callie! A great exercise to not only create good habits but make you aware of ones you have but may not not realize. I am looking forward to trying this one out!

  4. I use this exercise often (from ypur balanced riding course). The other one i found really helpful was riding with one hand on the cantle at all gaits and switching hands. Really helped improve my seat, hip amd shoulder position as well as my rhythm.

  5. Thank you for this helpful tip. I have challenges with correct steering technique and cant wait to try this in my next lesson. Awesome.
    Thank you!

  6. Hi Callie

    Great video I did it with my students they loved it, and so did the horses steady quiet hands 🐴

    1. Awesome Nora, thanks for sharing with your students 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  7. I’m loving this book. I have used this and so many other exercises from it with my students. The videos are great as it helps my students (and me) visualize the concepts better. I often video tape my students and let them watch their video and the one from the book and it can be very enlightening for them as well as help them become more self aware.

  8. Do you have any suggestions for a horse that wants to keep changing bend when riding in a bend? For example, when riding the box exercise, I want to keep her bent to the right, but she keeps swinging her head to the left any time I use even small touches on the outside rein to keep her between the aids. I have the book, so if there is an exercise in there that I’m not aware of, please direct me to it. Thanks

  9. hi,I’m interested if you might have advice for riders like me with arthritic hands please? I have some surgically fused knuckles and also some knuckles that have fused on their own. I am unable to make a fist with either hand. thank you

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