Tag: stretching


Schooling The Young Horse 1: Will and Feugo

2nd June

San Diego Horse Trainer Will Faerber from Art2Ride schools a young horse and takes you through the process step by step.



Bringing The Horse Up From The Stretch

8th April

San Diego Horse Trainer Will Faerber from Art2Ride discusses bringing the horse up from a stretch.



Training tip: Get your horse in the zone

24th February

San Diego Horse Trainer Will Faerber from Art2Ride discusses training tips for horses.



Stretch In The Canter

5th December

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here with my associate trainer Amber Matusek and her horse Legolas. Today we are going to continue our discussion of beginning the horse in the canter.

Amber bought this horse about a year ago, and she has spent this time working him long and low. She started with us about three months ago and we have just been starting Legolas on the canter on the lunge line. She has gotten to the point where she can sit to the trot quite nicely in a  good active working trot, which means she can begin the canter. Remember the trot has to be correct before you begin the canter. Once we can get the horse to work over it’s back while supporting our weight, then we can become serious about the canter.

Amber …



Dave Murphy and Zoey

12th November

Hello this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride here with Dave Murphy and his horse Zoey. As you probably remember from previous videos, Zoey started over a year ago as a very over-reactive Arab who would be very difficult to even get out by the rail at home and would freak about every car going by. She is coming along beautifully and is starting to swing.

We came to realize after watching Zoey in the beginning that she would get sore in the feet. I just wanted to warn people at home that barefoot shoeing is a wonderful thing if it works for your horse, but it takes a long long time and it doesn’t work with some of them at all. Zoey is going along much better now that we had front shoes put on. She is staying sound and it …



Dave Murphy and Zoey

12th November

Hi this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride with Dave Murphy and his horse Zoey.

This was a horse that would freak out when she would come out, but look how lovely she is now. She is now able to carry Dave’s weight quite easily. She still wants to curl back a little bit, but this is the best we have seen her go so far! As you can see in the video, she does a beautiful leg yield. She has come such a long way! When we first started with her she would freak out on every circle, but now he is able to keep her in a nice steady rhythm.

Once again, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride with Dave and Zoey, thanks for joining us!!!



Cher 2 Year Old

5th October

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and today I wanted to introduce you to Cher who is a two year old that is owned by Carrie Underwood. Cher was raised and bred here at our barn. We started giving her lunge lessons about two weeks ago. Notice how I am lunging her with just a simple cavesson with no bit in her mouth and no tack on her back yet. I want to make sure the horse moves correctly first before adding any kind of constriction, like a girth.

What I wanted to show you was, when a horse is allowed to, a horse will stretch on it’s own because it is natural for them. Today is actually the first day that she really stretched over her entire topline. So I want to see if I can show you …



Laura Sakakeeny: Student update 2

26th March

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride here in Poway with Laura Sakakeeny, who you have seen once before. I wanted to give you a little update on her and also show you how beautifully her horse is now going.

Interesting thing with this horse today is that she has been able to sit to the canter for the first time and he is beautifully working over his back! This was another horse that was a little broken over in the neck, but now that is straightening out beautifully and we can hardly see that at all. We are very happy to say that Laura just went to her first horse show with this horse doing dressage and did very very well!

After we do a little work, we always come right back to the stretch. We remind and refresh the …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 8

25th February

Good afternoon this is Will Faerber again coming to you again from the Guadalajara Country Club here with Masha. This horse has a few problems, including that he is broken in the neck. What we are talking about here today is trying to get the horse to lengthen out from the shoulder so he doesn’t just bend the neck over, which is what a lot of these horses do.

There is nothing worse than a horse that comes behind the bridle and just drops the bit in his mouth, because when in a difficult situation will just run away with you. If he looks like he is a little behind the vertical it is because he is broken in the neck. We are now going to experiment with a sitting trot with this horse, as long as it doesn’t affect the …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 6

25th February

Hello this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride here in Guadalajara, Mexico with Jorge. Jorge bought this horse a while ago and we watched Jerry school it for him and we saw how nicely it went!

Jorge is a beginner rider but look how beautifully he is able to stretch this horse and how he is able to develop his balance without holding on with his hands. That is the most important thing for a rider. A rider who’s balance is dependent on the reins is never going to be a good rider. The horse will never relax and will probably go lame because someone has been hanging on their mouth. Look how a beginner can get on a correctly trained horse and get the horse to stretch and stay over his back while developing his own balance and will feel the …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 5

25th February

Good morning this is Will Faerber from the Guadalajara Country Club this morning with my good friend who I call Jerry. He produces a TV show for horses called “The Land Of Horses”. You can find that online at: www.tierradecaballos.com . He does numerous shows about different trainers and horses. This is the first time that I have worked with him and I couldn’t be happier with what a great job he’s done on the mare this morning!

She already has a lovely working trot over her back and is very well developed. He has also been working with Masha here, who is the trainer at the Guadalajara Country Club. Look at how nicely this horse is working over it’s back in the stretch! Also, look how even this horse is working from front to back, that is the hind and …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 4

25th February

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I’m still here with Masha and we thought we’d show you how he is going now after our big warm up.

Take a look at the video that we did from the beginning of the session and compare it to this video and how his back is moving. He is lengthening from the shoulder and his hind and back leg are now moving together on the same plane, which is the cardinal rule of dressage. We are working on half pirouettes with this horse . What we were having trouble with was her horse was stalling out before, so we are going to make a much wider turn and we let a half pass set up the position of the back. After a few attempts she does one quite nicely! On the last …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 3

25th February

Hi this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here in Guadalarja, Mexico with my good friend Masha. We are working with a horse that is new to me and that’s why I wanted to share it with you. He is a Spanish Sport Horse that has very impressive movement.

This horse was bred in Spain by the military breeding farm. He was the champion of Spain and is now the champion of Mexico for the last three consecutive years! Masha is showing him in Dressage. She started riding him in August of 2012 and definitely has a big future! I am very excited to see these horses because it’s a whole new generation of horses in Spain, which are being bred for much more correct leg movement, which we look for in dressage. I was so impressed with this horse’s …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 2

25th February

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here at the Guadalajara Country Club working here with Masha. Masha is the daughter of a famous Russian Olympic rider. She is working here with a lot of these Spanish horses, which we will show you in upcoming videos. They are developing the Spanish Sport Horse breed, which is really using the Andalusians and Lusitanos as foundations for these horses and they are creating a lovely horse that can really get over it’s back and has natural straight moving gaits as opposed to the Andalusians in the past that had crooked front legs.

I have heard people say that with Friesians and horses like that, since they have necks built the way that they are that you shouldn’t stretch them. Nothing could be further from the truth. The higher the …



Clinic in Guadalajara: 1

25th February

Good morning, I am here giving a clinic in Guadalajara, Mexico. They are having a huge show here today and I wanted to introduce you to a beautiful Spanish sport horse and to show you how wonderful these horses work, how easy and light they are, and also what wonderful temperaments they have. I see so many people in America buying horses that are too big for them. These horses here have some of the best movement now of the horses winning in Dressage, and they aren’t giant. They are perfect for a lady or man. Just look how beautiful the movement is!

I am going to have her go large and show us some lengthening down the long side. Look at the movement in this horse! You can go and compare this to Revelle or Totalis (some of the best horses in …



Bobbie Hanson: Student Update

6th February

Good afternoon, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride here at Sycamore Trails with Bobbie Hanson and her horse. Bobbie has been working with us once a week for the past six months. Her horse has gone from an unmanageable lunatic to what we see here today!

A few short months ago any little thing would have been enough to send this horse into a fit, but now he comes out nicely with his belly pulling up and working great over his back for Bobbie. Look how lovely and consistent he is beginning to be. If you compare this video with the one we did a few months ago, you will see that he is much more developed across his topline, the hole behind the saddle has disappeared for the most part and his neck is looking beautiful.

Once again, this is Will Faerber from …



71 Year Old Beginner Gets It Right!

3rd February

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride teaching a clinic at Peppertree Farms in Poway, CA. I am here with Judith Bailey who is a beginner and has ridden in three clinics with me so far. In that short period of time, she has been able to get her horse stretching into the contact and moving and swinging over it’s back. We are very proud of her!

The point of me showing this is you can see with even a beginner, once you understand these concepts, you can begin stretching your horses and getting them working over their backs so they will develop correctly. Not only does it develop the horse correctly, it develops the rider correctly as well because the rider cannot balance against the reins. It teaches the rider to stretch up and get into the right position …



Horses That Spook: Teaching Relaxation

16th January

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here with my good friend Bailador, who you’ve seen in previous videos before. Today I thought I would spend a little time talking about horses that spook.

Very often in horses that come to us we find (and especially the big and powerful ones) that they have gotten into the hands of riders that are not very experienced who are afraid of them, and they begin to spook at every little thing. Pretty soon they can’t go around the ring without spooking ten times, and then they start dumping people. So now I am going to explain how you deal with it.

One of the things that I want to point out is relaxation (like doing a shoulder in or a half pass), it is a skill that we have to …



Frauke Murphy: Update 2

24th December

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride here with Frauke Murphy continuing their training. Frauke has been working with this horse for about a month now getting her to stretch on the lunge line and doing the same thing on it’s back, and I wanted you to see how nicely she has developed since then.

When we look at Frauke we can see that she has a very nice leg position, but she needs to just stretch her shoulders back. This will happen over time, this is only her third lesson with me. She will begin to get those things straightened out as she gets her horse straightened out. Every time her horse starts to come up, she needs to be sure that when she softens her a little bit that her shoulders don’t come over with it.

While this horse …



Frauke Murphy: First lesson

24th December

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride working here with Frauke Murphy for her and her horse’s first lesson with us. I taped a little bit of when we began on the lunge line so you can see what we started with, which you can find under our videos.

This is a horse that has done very well on the western circuit and has had about ten years of training. What we noticed is while she is very obedient, she is working very hollow and pulling her neck over and cranking over in the third vertebrae and not seeking the bit, which is what we see now. They have done a very good job of teaching her how to be a nice quiet horse, but now she will learn how to work over her back and the ride she will give …



Laura Sakakeeny: Student Update 1

3rd December

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here in Poway doing a clinic. We have Laura Sakakeeny in the ring with us this morning and she came to our last clinic that we held here. Her horse was a Hunter before we started this and neither her horse or she had ever done much dressage. I saw her about 6 weeks ago and since then she has put what she has learned into practice.

Look how beautiful her horse looks now!  She has done it all on her own getting her horse stretching. Look how beautifully this horse is working over it’s back now! Once you understand the basic principles that must guide you, you can train your own horses. Laura demonstrates a stretch for us on a circle and this direction is a little more difficult to …



Tanya and Soleil: Recognizing The Working Trot

13th October

Good morning this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here in Orange County today with Tanya and her horse Soleil. Soleil has been working with me for about six months now. Soleil started out not so good and unsound due to bad feet and a bad back. I wanted her to help you a little bit today.

We had a question come in asking for help: “I feel my horse stretching down but it feels like it’s on the forehand”. It’s going to feel a little on the forehand in the beginning but the main thing is whether the horse is swinging through behind or not. That will tell you whether or not the horse will develop correctly or not. Tanya has just begun to be able to do this and today is actually the first day that she …



Recognizing Back Development

19th September

Good morning, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here with Jodi Anderson and her horse Casanova. We had a question come in a couple days ago from someone who is working their horse and developing and they wanted to know how to recognize if the horse is developing it’s topline.

It is quite simple because you will see the topline change. By topline I mean the point in the middle of the horse’s ears all the way back to it’s tail. If you look at the horse in the video, you can see how the top of his neck muscles are lit up and the bottom of his neck muscles look very soft, but he’s reaching out from the shoulder. Look how evenly his diagonal pairs are moving (the outside hind leg with the inside foreleg), that is …



Dr. Robson – Back Stretches

3rd September

We are going to use Montana and Montana’s owners to demonstrate how to do a hip tuck, which is a really good exercise for two reasons.

One is to assess if the patient has a sore back: we are going to trigger a reflex point on her topline and if she resists, swings away, moves into us or acts like it’s uncomfortable that helps us determine that maybe she still has a sore back or croup. What we are actually looking for is a contraction of the abdominal muscles or her core muscles. If she is able to do the tuck, that tells me as she lifts up that she is engaging her core and is able to lift and round and come beneath with her hind end which we can do statically from the ground. This is also of course the …



Dave Murphy and Zoey Update

30th August

Good afternoon this is Will Faeber from Art2Ride and I am going to give you an update on Mr. Murphy after a few requests have come to us to see more from them.

He has had about seven or eight lessons under saddle after working her on the lunge for a few months, getting her to stretch into the contact, going quite nicely, calming down and not being so over reactive about everything. We just finished lunging her getting her into a nice place even after having a few days off! She was a little excitable but she settled right down in a reasonable amount of time, maybe a little longer than we would ultimately like. It took about thirty minutes today when we would like to see her calming down ultimately in ten or so, but that’s alright.

Dave is working on …



74 Year Old Rider Schooling

27th August

Bobbie Hanson started working with Will Faerber once a week only a few months back. When she started, her horse was for the most part unmanageable, not the best situation for a 74 year old beginner rider.
Bobbie was very good about following the program that Will set up for her with the horse, now after only a few short months we see the result, happy rider and a happy horse!



Ginny Walker and Toasty

26th August

Good morning, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and we are watching Ginny Walker and her mare Toasty!

Toasty is a horse that Ginny started riding with us about 2 years ago. The first time that we saw this horse it was a basket case , the kind of horse that would start shaking and lose it’s mind when you got on him. She has brought him along beautifully working on her own at home and coming for lessons and is now able to stretch it quite nicely! He is starting to relax and turn into a very nice mount for her.

Ginny has also done a lot herself to get in shape and she is really looking great and so much more flexible than she used to be and is able to stay with this horse. Very nice! She demonstrates a beautiful deep …



Sheila and Gabilon

26th August

This is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and we are looking at Sheila Montera on Gabilon. Gabilon is another one that started a few years back. He is a quarter horse/thoroughbred mix that has had a lot of health problems and stiffness problems, but Sheila has been working him over his back and now he is starting to swing and have a big active stride. We are showing you videos like these to show you what we are doing.

Sheila is another student who only rides with me every few months when she can or when I can get to her, and she has done a very good job of doing this all on her own in between lessons getting the horse to stretch and develop beautifully. Sheila demonstrates a working trot for us, bringing him up without losing the back only …



Learning To Develop The Stretch

14th July

This is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here once again with Dave Murphy. On Wednesday we showed you him working in the walk and now we are working in the trot for one of the first times under saddle.

Notice the horse’s mouth is still a little busy there, so we are working on getting her to quiet that down. Dave is letting her into a real working trot and if she has a little problem, he is just going to stretch up and then let her stretch and get longer. Dave is doing a great job there with not pulling the mouth of the horse. Notice if she comes up, he follows up with his hands to follow up the motion of the horse and then as she stretches down, he just lets her back down again.

One of …



Dave Murphy and Zoey

12th July

This is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I am here today with Dave Murphy and his horse Zoey. Dave started with me a few months back because both of his horses had become very very nervous (they are Arabs) and a little uncontrollable. We have an earlier video where we were in the first stages of lunging his horses and he has done that process very nicely and is now beginning to ride them.

When we started training Zoey the first time I saw Dave, every car that went by and every bird that flew out of a bush would send her into a fit of histeria, so she has come a long long way and is starting to work very nicely! As you can see in the video she has a nice working walk and he shows us a stretch …



New Project: Two Weeks

29th June

Good morning, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and we are looking at Karen Loshbaugh riding our new project horse, who is still unnamed! We are still looking at names for him!

We are about two weeks into this project and as you can see when you compare this to our first frames that we did of the horse, he now looks like he is moving pretty much consistently on both sides. There is no dropping of his hips anymore or losing the back end and he is starting to work through his back! We can still see from having been draw reined in his life that he still wants to crimp over the neck just a little bit, but the neck is starting to get out longer and longer all the time.

We can see he has got more swing in his back …



Correcting Over Flexion

20th June

This is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and I’m here today with our student Kristen Balch who is lungeing the horse Contigo. We had a question come in on the internet yesterday, a person trying to learn how to stretch their horse and when she stretches her horse, the horse curls back behind the vertical. How can this be remedied?

Now usually that tells me that the horse has been broken at the third vertebrae in the neck or at least has been loosened there by use of draw reins or something like that during the course of his life. That is something that we find very often when we first go to stretch the horses, they curl back behind the vertical because their neck has a bend in it already. In other words, it’s already crinked over in the middle, so …



New Project Horse – Day 3

16th June

Hi this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride, and riding today is Karen Loshbaugh on our new horse that we are introducing to you today!

Our latest project comes to us because he had become difficult for his owner and trainer to work with, they felt that he had become dangerous. We recognized immediately  the problem was that this horse who is 17’1 has huge strides and like so many of these big striding horses, they get into the hands of beginning riders and simply have too much movement for them to deal with and they start shortening their strides down in order to make them physically capable of riding, which makes the horses become very frustrated. That is what happened in this case.

He is been absolutely lovely, and this is only his third day! He has never been stretched before, and …



Will Faeber’s Book Club

14th June

Good morning, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and thanks for joining us again! I want to take a moment this morning to tell you about a book that I discovered a little while ago, that I think should be in every equestrian’s library. It’s called “Dressage Formula” by Erik Herbermann.

Erik Herbermann was a long time student of the great classical German rider Egon Von Neindorff. He grew up riding with him for many many years and has basically put his method down into a book. For those of you who don’t know who Egon Von Neindorff was, he was the top German rider for many years. He is the German equivalent to Nuno Oliveira, so to speak.

People ask me all the time why we go into these stretches and things and I just try to tell people that this …



The Rider’s Hands

9th May

Good morning, this is Will Faerber from Art2Ride and today we are looking at Karen Loshbaugh riding a young Arab that we started from basically barely halter broke. He is just beginning to come into the phase of just beginning to take contact with the bridle. So the question that we are going to try and answer today is: What do you do with your hands in the stretch?

Lets talk about a few concepts of that. The main thing with the hands as Mr. Olivera used to say is, “The best hands in the world simply work like a pair of side reins” (They limit the length of the rein). They simply don’t give every time the horse pulls.  But better than a pair of side reins, they can actually maintain contact with the horse, and of course adjust to …



Art2RideDemonstration

8th May



Your Horse May Surprise You

25th April

This is Will Faerber from Art2Ride, and we are in Irvine Park today giving a clinic.

My wife is riding a horse named Kyro, who started working with us in a clinic only a few short weeks ago. He is a draft cross, who I think when he started with us in the first clinic, had never been stretched and looked like a very shortened draft horse. This is a perfect example of when we sometimes find horses in interesting places and they surprise us!

Most people are often surprised by how well their horses can move. These horses that they thought would never be capable of doing dressage, and yet once they see them begin to light up their toplines and move correctly through the back, they see how differently they can look.

This horse looked very hollow-backed, as you can see …



Correct Contact In The Stretch

24th February

Today we are going to try to answer a question from one of our friends in Denmark who has written to us saying when she tries to stretch her horse she goes on a loose rein, and in her particular case, the horse stops moving and seems to fall apart. So what we are going to try and answer is the correct contact.

The correct contact in the stretch is contact, the weight of the rein, it is not a loose rein (this is one of the biggest misconceptions about the stretch). The horse should be just as much on the bridle in the stretch as it is when up in the working trot, as we see Karen doing here in the video. She is going to stretch the horse correctly first and we are going to watch the horse stretch …



The Horse’s Full Range Of Motion

3rd February

This is Karen Loshbaugh on Perhaps, and today we are going to once again do a demonstration, with a horse that has a more advanced level of training.

This horse has shown through I1 successfully, Karen won her silver medal on the horse. It has been trained exclusively by us for some 5 years or so. We are going to demonstrate how we begin at the same place. These foundation exercises, developing the horse through the top line are something that you do at every level of training. You should always come back to it to relieve the tension across the horse’s back, and that is why they are so much more willing to work because we are letting them out of that tension.

So now what we are going to do is Karen is going to bring the horse up and …



Keeping the back engaged in the working gaits

2nd February

Today we are going to give you another example of developing the horse’s top line and finding that point of balance. That is, how high we can bring the horse’s head and neck once we have engaged his back.

This is an 18 year old stallion who was never able to be trained due to some feet infections, so he only started working at the age of 16! So it took quite a while to develop his back, he did a lot of stretch work. We are just now beginning to bring him back up.

My wife Karen, who you see riding in the video, is going to get him in a nice deep stretch. This horse also has a problem because he had been overbitted in the past and always hung his tongue out the side of his mouth. We see …



How To Develop the Sitting Trot

23rd January

So today, we are talking about introducing the young horse to the sitting trot.

The biggest mistake that most people make with this, is they sit too long. Young horse’s backs take quite a while to form, so if you just drop your stirrups (as so many people do), you will probably end up hollowing the back of the horse, because the horse won’t be able to sustain it.

So, when your first beginning the sitting trot on a horse, what you want to do is get them into the stretch, and then only sit in the stretch. This teaches the rider independence as well. My student Sarah in this video, is working with a horse that has only had a few weeks of dressage training, and is learning to stretch. To get him back in place, she waits a moment till she …



How To Engage Your Horse’s Back

22nd January

Will Faerber discusses “How to Engage Your Horse’s Back”




From the Blog!

Join me as I post weekly blogs covering many topics relating to Classical Foundation Training. I have intentionally left out the word "dressage" because many people have a negative association with the prevalent "crank and spank" approach or that it is a sport for only those who are afraid to jump.

Dressage as it is meant to be is an understanding of how to best optimize a horse's movement and ability to carry a rider, surely a benefit for any horse, any discipline. It is also important in maintaining your horse's safety, soundness and sanity.

Barb and Perhaps: WDF Foundation Level 1 Test 4

Barb and Perhaps demonstrate the World Dressage Federation Foundation Level 1 Test 4 with Will’s commentary.

Amber and Legolas: WDF Foundation Level 1 Test 6

San Diego Horse Trainer Will Faerber from Art2Ride discusses the world dressage federation level 1 test 6. Amber and Legolas Demonstrate.

Video Critique: Julie and Barbie Submission 1

San Diego Horse Trainer Will Faerber from Art2Ride discusses the video sent in by Julie and gives suggestions for further improvement.

**Correction, the Clinic Will...