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Relaxation and Movement Training for Improved Performance in ALL Disciplines

Help Your Horse Move and Feel Better

Have you ever struggled with your horse being crooked and stiff?

Leaning in their corners, unable to keep a correct bend, or moving very hollow and anxious?

Perhaps being spooky, often seeming tense or tight, or displaying behavior problems such as head shaking, biting, or bucking?

These problems all have one factor in common – Tension.

Tension can affect your horse in many ways, from causing him to move poorly, creating an uncomfortable ride and putting increased stress on his back, legs, and joints, to affecting him emotionally, causing stress, anxiety, and behavior problems.

Regardless of our riding discipline or activity, we want our horses to feel good and to move with ease and grace. A well-balanced horse is a pleasure to ride and will be able to better maintain his soundness and longevity.

A balanced, soft, and supple horse is also able to be more responsive to our riding aids and to remain calm, even in stressful situations.

When we ride, it is our responsibility to teach our horse how to use his body to best carry our weight and perform the athletic movements we ask for. Even if all you want is to amble down the trail on the weekends, a soft and supple horse is a pleasure to ride.

The downside to ignoring tension in the horse is at best slowly developing soundness issues or at worst, a behavior problem that may appear to be unpredictable but in reality was likely building for months.

It is often thought that poor movement, even poor conformation, cannot be corrected, or that behavior problems are the result of a stubborn or difficult horse.

The truth is that these horses can be helped and these challenges solved, all while creating a better relationship with your horse and practicing skills that will help you become a more confident and effective rider.

This method is known as In Hand work, where the horse is guided through a series of progressively difficult exercises, building strength, suppleness, and balance in their body, while promoting relaxation and calmness.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,
not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


Help Your Horse Move and Feel Better ​To Unlock Their Athletic Potential

In Hand exercises help the horse both physically and mentally, developing them to be more strong, supple, and balanced in their body as well as calm and focused in their mind.

Through In Hand work, we teach the horse to be aware of his body, to bend evenly to both sides, and to move forwards, backwards, and laterally smoothly and softly.

In Hand work is the next step beyond simple groundwork in teaching the horse skills for movement and correct responses to the same aids we will use while riding, encouraging stretching across the topline, lifting the back, and maintaining tempo and rhythm in movement.

This In Hand work is important for all disciplines, including trail riders and gaited breeds, and will improve the skills of any experience level rider – refining those of an experienced rider and teaching the feel of concepts such as a “half halt” or “moving from center” to a novice rider.

Learn how to use In Hand work with your horse in Developing Balance In Hand with Patrick King.

>> Discover the exercises that are most important for your horse and learn to recognize when your horse is tense and feel when they are calm and in balance.
>> Find the solution to the persistent problems you have been having in stiffness one direction, a difficult canter lead, head shy behavior and more.
>> Develop a deeper relationship with your horse, paying attention to their most subtle responses to understand where they are stiff, uncomfortable, or unsure, and find the confidence to guide them through, helping them find relaxation and softness.
>> Finally, feel the difference in your riding as the coordination and partnership to move through the In Hand exercises on the ground transfers into the saddle!
​ Keep reading to learn more about your instructor, Patrick King, and Developing Balance In Hand.

About Your Instructor

Patrick King

​In 18 years of teaching clinics around the world and starting over 3,000 young horses, Patrick has refined the in hand work he teaches to a simple progression of exercises.

Patrick has a unique breadth of experience, riding in varied disciplines, and studying with many other master horsemen, including Ray Hunt, Mark Russell, and Master Luis Valenca. He specializes in teaching the principles of classical dressage to riders from ALL disciplines.

In this training, Patrick King is going to take you through a series of fun exercises that will help your horse find relaxation, to both move and feel better.

Patrick is engaging and clear in how he teaches. I love that he gives the horses confidence and allows them to have some expression in the process.

This course lays out a clear path to follow for learning in-hand work no matter what type of riding you do.

​Comprehensive videos with in depth explanations, theory, and troubleshooting really help with understanding how to work with your horse. Being able to ask questions and see the questions and answers from other participants is also quite beneficial. Very educational and fun!
~ Dani Henry

In just a few short weeks, this course has helped me achieve the level of communication with my horse that has eluded us for the past 15 years, and I’ve only been able to complete through the third lesson (due to time constraints)!

This course has been fantastic for me and my horses. My main riding gelding is now 24, refined communication through the reins has been elusive all these years, but within two weeks of starting this course all that has changed. Thank you so much!
~ Lisa S

What You Will Learn in the Course

Each Lesson is broken into manageable videos so you can watch as little or as much as you have time for – and review specific lessons quickly and easily.​

Lesson 1 >

Building Blocks

The Benefits and Essential Components of In Hand Work

In this first part of the course, you will learn why in hand work is important for any horse, and the essential responses your horse will need to understand before getting started with this work. 

  • The true definition of collection and why it matters for every horse
  • The difference between engagement and disengagement, and which one could potentially harm your horse
  • The basic equipment needed for In Hand work (if you have a halter, a lead rope, and a stick you are ready to get started!)
  • How to recognize subtle releases of tension in your horse

Lesson 2 >

Beginning the Dance

Learning and Practicing the Basic In Hand Position

Once you’ve gone through the preparation work with your horse, you’re ready to work on basic in hand exercises.

Regardless of the discipline you’re riding, these in hand exercises are going to help your horse to achieve better alignment of his body, better engagement of his haunches, and more freedom through the shoulders.

  • How to warm up your horse for In Hand work and for better riding
  • The two basic positions to begin with any horse
  • What to do if your horse rushes forward, only moves sideways, doesn’t move at all, and more common problems!
  • Watch as Patrick introduces these positions to a young horse for the very first time

Lesson 3 >

Building Strength

Through Progressive Exercises

We began with exercises to develop mobility in your horse’s body as well as rhythm in his movement. Now we progress to exercises that lead us further on the path to collection and build strength in the horse’s body.

  • Learn how to improve your position and effectiveness as a handler
  • Discover how In Hand work can feel like “dancing” with your horse
  • Watch as Patrick helps a new handler work through the basic positions with her horse
  • Practice exercises to improve how you hold and handle your whip for In Hand and riding
  • Learn how to move from working in a halter to working in a bridle

Lesson 4 >

Progressing to More Advanced Work

We are now moving on to exercises in the bridle, where we have an outside rein to connect and collect the horse.

In this section, we ask our horse for more engagement and connection to the hindquarters. From here we can change position and do more lateral work, affecting the position of the haunches, the engagement, and ultimately the degree of collection that we get from our horse. This is where it starts to get really fun!

  • Learn to recognize as the horse changes their balance (with the help of colored leg wraps for a clear visual example)
  • Start working at the trot – this will make a big difference in your horse’s trot under saddle!
  • Begin the more advanced exercises of Collected Shoulder In, Haunches In, Half Pass, even Piaffe!
  • Learn why these “advanced” exercises can benefit horses in any discipline

Lesson 5 >

Pattern Work

Now that you have gone through the first steps of the positions, it is time to practice patterns. These patterns will encourage you to move through the transitions more fluidly from one position to another.

In this section, you will work through several of the patterns with your horse, plus watch Patrick coach several other horse/rider pairs through the patterns.

  • See the direct transfer with the exercises from In Hand to Riding
  • Watch Patrick coach more horses and handlers through the exercises, from beginner to advanced
  • Learn 3 Patterns to try with your horse to reach the next level in your In Hand work

The Online Course Workbook

The Pattern Pack contains 5 additional patterns to keep your In Hand work focused, interesting, and challenging for you and your horse.

The Patterns provide direction and purpose to your practice. If you ever go into a training session and feel as though you get stuck now knowing what to work on next, practicing the patterns keeps you focused and moving ahead!

Bonuses You Will Get When You Join

Now you can enjoy an Audio Lesson to guide your In Hand work!

Be guided through a basic In Hand lesson with your horse that will help you become more aware of what you are doing with your body and what to notice in your horse. Get simple reminders of what to look and feel for in yourself and your horse.

You can download the Lesson and listen wherever and as often as you like – just plug in your headphones and listen along as you practice your In Hand work!

Join Us in Developing Balance In Hand with Patrick King

Help your horse move and feel better.


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