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While your welcome and access details are heading to your inbox, I’d like to invite you to join Wendy’s ABCs to On the Aids Course to…

Develop Your Eye and Feel for Great Movement

And Unlock Your Horse’s Potential

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The way a horse moves – how he carries his head, moves his back, and lands with each step – determines his ability to safely carry a rider and determines what that rider feels from the saddle. Whether the horse feels balanced or light vs heavy, rushing, or doggedly slow.​

Movement also affects temperament and behavior. Many behavior problems under saddle begin due to the discomfort of a horse who never learned to carry the weight of a rider effectively and so feels unbalanced or uncomfortable, triggering many resistant behaviors such as bucking, rearing, leaning, rushing, or refusing to move.

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Weight Bearing Posture

Our challenge as equestrians begins with the fact that horses were not designed to carry weight on their backs. They are a grazing species with bodies adapted for long hours wandering and chomping grass and the occasional sprint away from potential threats.

When we ask the horse to carry our weight there is a particular way they need to organize their body in order to do so effectively without pain and undue stress on joints and soft tissue structures. This is called a weight bearing posture. ​

​Unfortunately, if you go to a local horse show or event, there are not likely to be many horses moving with good weight bearing posture. Instead you are more likely to see strained lifted necks, hollow backs, and the subsequent struggles between horse and rider… kicking incessantly to go forward, bucking in canter transitions, etc.

​Besides the potential behavior problems and struggles with their riders, these horses are also more at risk of injury.

But keep looking at that horse show and you may see a horse rider pair who appear connected, soft, light and effortless in their movement and communication. The horse moves willingly without rushing and the rider remains balanced and quiet. The rider’s requests are almost invisible and the horse is “on the aids”, that destination in riding that each rider, regardless of discipline, knows they want, but isn’t sure exactly what it means or how to get there….

“A horse appropriately conditioned and trained to carry riders correctly, is likely to avoid many of the injuries that may otherwise be sustained. This underlines the need for more education of owners in appropriate musculoskeletal and behavioral conditioning as well as equine biomechanics.”

​The connection between posture and movement to soundness and temperament may be obvious, but the messages about what correct movement is and how to get there are often confusing.

As riders, we’re told to “get his head down”, “make him round”, “ride the hind end”, “get him pushing”, etc, but a clear picture of what we are actually working towards often eludes us.

Developing this clear picture of weight bearing posture and good quality movement becomes the first step to achieving it consistently with your own horse and in your own riding.

Introducing ABCs to On the Aids, with Wendy Murdoch, where you will learn to distinguish good movement from poor, and you will develop a clear understanding of riding terms such as on the aids, collection, throughness, tracking, impulsion, and more.

Learn through seeing the skeletal system, colored dots marking joints, bells marking footfalls, and slow motion video showing correct and incorrect movement for comparison.

From Recognition to Feel

Understanding and recognizing quality posture and movement is the first step, but the second step is equally important to your riding… being able to then transfer that understanding to your feel in the saddle.

Once we have developed the clear mental picture of what we are looking for in movement, we need to be able to recognize if our horse is moving effectively when we are riding. As riding skills increase, we need to be able to feel shifts of balance for correct timing of aids, and we need to be able to feel movement for clues if our horse is uncomfortable and something needs to be shifted.

To help you understand how your horse can move better, develop the visual image for this correct movement, and then find your feel in the saddle<, I would like to invite you to join ABCs to On the Aids with Wendy Murdoch…

Improve your riding and unlock your horse’s potential by recognizing and developing the posture and movement your horse needs to be happy, sound, and healthy.

Your Course Instructor Wendy Murdoch

​At 27 years old, Wendy had a serious riding accident, the horse she was riding reared and fell, rolling over her and pushing her femur through her hip socket. Weeks later Wendy left the hospital in a wheelchair with no opportunities for physical therapy. But her commitment to understanding the body and the connection between body and mind had begun.

Now, with over 30 years of experience as a professional riding instructor and Feldenkrais practitioner, Wendy has combined her formal education in anatomy and physiology with her time working alongside great veterinarians such as Dr Hilary Clayton and Dr Joyce Harman as well as her intensive Feldenkrais training using movement as a mode of body work. Wendy has also spent countless hours in arenas around the world working with horses and riders to help them discover where they are stuck and how to change old habits and patterns to find new possibilities for movement, balance and ease.

ABCs to On the Aids is a 5 Part Program

Here’s What is Included

Lesson 1  Anatomy of Movement

In Anatomy of Movement, we begin by understanding anatomy and how it relates to movement. Wendy explains in detail the importance of weight bearing posture from the horse and explains the true meaning of riding terms such as on the bit or on the aids, throughness, impulsion, collection and cadence.

Lesson 2  Seeing Movement: Good, Bad and Ugly

Next, in Seeing Movement: Good, Bad, and Ugly, you will spend time looking at different horses moving on a lunge line as well as under saddle to identify their movement patterns, such as shortening or lengthening the topline, over or under tracking and rotating the ribcage right or left.

​Lesson 3  Feeling the Difference

Then in Feeling the Difference, Wendy will help you to develop the feel in your own riding through exercises on and off the horse. Each step of the way, you will receive simple homework sheets to help you apply what you are learning to the horses you ride by developing your eye and improving your feel.

Lesson 4  Movement of the Rider

In Movement of the Rider, develop your eye for the movement of the rider as well. Watch as Wendy points out and corrects imbalance and poor position in the rider, first on the spring horse and then with several riders on their own horses. You’ll see how much the horse will change as the rider finds better posture.

​Lesson 5  Finding the Change

Finally, in Finding the Change, see how the horses can change their movement patterns and how the same horse can look completely different when they move in a different way.

​BONUS  Horse Vault

In the Horse Vault, watch as Wendy observes four different horses, discusses their current state, potential, and the owner’s goals for the horse, and develops a plan for each horse.

All the course videos are available for you to watch on your own schedule and you have Lifetime Access to this course – it never expires!

getting Clear on Riding Terms

In ABCs to On the Aids, find clarity on commonly misunderstood riding terms such as engagement, throughness, frame, impulsion, on the bit, and more through Wendy’s engaging whiteboard discussions and skeletal anatomy segments combined with photos and videos of a variety of horses to clearly see differences between movements and postures.

The Next Step in Your Learning Journey

“I understand the importance of good movement, but how do I recognize it… how can I really tell if my horse is ‘lifting his back’ or ‘using his hind end’?”

“How can I teach myself to actually see these movements and know if my horse is carrying
his body in a healthy way?” 

You will learn how to work each element of good horsemanship – saddle fit, rider skill, in hand work, body work – into a plan for your horse! These are questions I hear from students who recognize how important a horse’s posture and movement are for soundness, performance, a comfortable ride, and even the calmness of the horse, but are struggling to recognize when a horse is actually moving well.

That’s why I teamed up with Wendy to create On the Aids, to teach you how to see and feel when a horse really is On the Aids! 

Wendy begins with a concise class on anatomy, and how the bone structure will relate to the horse’s movement. Then she gives an in-depth lecture on what “on the aids” really means, explaining common terms like impulsion and collection in a simple and understandable way.

Next, we watch horses on the lunge line and slow down their movement so you can see the different ways they carry themselves, for example favoring one side, landing heavier on a specific leg, or being free through the back instead of tense.

After that, Wendy works with a rider on the spring horse to look closely at rider movements and how these affect the horse’s body.

Finally, Wendy will share exercises to develop your feel, and begin simple bodywork with your horse, as well as how to apply the body work as well as the other elements of good horse management.

You will learn how to work each element of good horsemanship – saddle fit, rider skill, in hand work, body work, into a plan for your horse!

Kind Words from Students

“Thank you Wendy. This was so helpful. I am very visual and your visuals really helped me understand the concepts more, and help them have a volume of sorts. I hear these words in my lessons too and I think I grouped many of the words together to mean collection, but now I understand the pieces of the puzzle and how they interact. Also, I appreciated the on the aids, meaning as I have always wondered if the ‘bit’ or the ability to manipulate the bit adequately, would result in ‘on the bit’, even though I sensed it was more about the energy and the feeling energized and with strength and enthusiasm. On the aids, seems so much more humane, and I have seen my horse collected chasing my pony around, with no rider or aids but intention, enthusiasm and focus! ”

— Connie Huibregtse

“Thank you – all these modules are very helpful in understanding the big picture and understanding what I can do specifically to help the horse keep his back up and underneath himself. ”

— Leslie Pollitt

“FINALLY I understand “in front of the leg” and all that it entails. Thank you! ”

— Patricia H

“Wow. Using Joker makes it so clear how we influence our horse’s movement so much for better or worse! Excellent information and well presented.”

— Anne Y

3 Bonus Mini Courses included FREE!

*Get Instant Access When You Join*

Getting the Most Out of
Your Riding Lessons

I just take weekly lessons, and I don’t own a horse…

No problem, when you join BRC, you’ll also get my Mini Course Getting the Most Out of Your Riding Lessons.

In this Mini Course we cover how to handle common lesson horse behavior, how to communicate with your riding instructor, tips for riding in groups and more! ($47 value)

Getting Started with Horses
+ Horse Care 101

I’m a beginner… should I wait until I’m more experienced?

I think new riders need the best instruction. It’s a huge advantage to learn the correct way the first time and create good habits right from the start.

The Balanced Riding Course is excellent for new riders, and just to make sure we’ve covered even the smallest details for you, I’ve included my Getting Started with Horses and Horse Care 101 courses. ($97 value)

5 Minute Fitness Series

If you have ever felt like your level of fitness, strength or balance are holding you back in your riding,.. you’ll love this new bonus series!

I have curated my favorite exercises for developing balance, building strength, and improving mobility – all important pieces of your riding fitness!

Each week join in with a 5 minute exercise set that is simple and easy to practice alongside your Balanced Riding Course lessons for that week.
($47 value)

Join Today and Get full membership in our NEW Leg Up
Coaching Club for all of 2021!

Live Online Coaching, a Vibrant Community, and Personalized Support

Join Today and Get full membership in our NEW Leg Up Coaching Club for all of 2021!

Live Online Coaching, a Vibrant Community, and Personalized Support

You’ll also Get 112 Months
in Training Journals FREE!

Want to see examples of what you learn about training in the Balanced Riding Course with real horses? This is exactly what you get with Training Journals – watch horses in different stages of their training learning and progressing. ($299 value)

Also included within Training Journals are numerous Deep Dive Mini Courses, each focusing on a different horse care topic. Not sure what to feed your horse? Have questions about hoof care or choosing the right saddle? You’ll find answers and entertainment in Training Journals.

New videos are posted weekly in Training Journals, so you will have ongoing new resources and inspiration all year! PLUS get access to our popular Goal Setting Workshop so you can review and revise your goals as you make progress!

Wondering if your question, interest, or issue is covered in Training Journals?

Training Examples

Deep Dive Topics

Types of Horses

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