This article is written for the German magazine 'Hofreitschule'

The soft cavesson, the Classical bitless bridle anno 1500
Forward and down or long and low: The story of the nuchal ligament
 
Online School student Åsne Arnestad from Norway asks the following question:
“I wondered why down and forward movement is considered so imported in dressage, when  transferring weight to the hindquarters also is “the point” of a lot of the exercises?”
Human manners 
 
Many horse trainers' website or book is full with the concept of 'horse manners towards humans' and how to teach them. But what about human manners towards the horse?
Paddock Paradise or Hell?
 
Lately I keep receiving the question: “Why rugs on your horses?” I even received some judgemental remarks about my horses having rugs on, or even that they are in the stable at night. But how can people make a judgement just from a picture without these people knowing my horses, me, or anything about their condition or situation?
Bitless is not always bitless
 
Bitless is not always bitless
On facebook a vet showed pictures of a horse with a severe wound in the mouth coming from sharp teeth pressing against the cheek. The vet said the bitless bridle was to blame. He concluded bitless was not always more friendly than a bit. An important note though, the bitless bridle used in this case was a hackamore.
I am really delighted to see that more and more people engage with the Gymnasium of the old masters again, which have been forgotten because of the ‘meat for canon’ training since the 19th century. However – as with everything – here too a lot of problems occur and many people get disappointed and horses frustrated which leaves them often to abandon their attempts towards a healthy way of going for the horse and the pure pleasure of lightness for the rider.

The round pen, rope halter and lead rope. These combination of things seem to have become as much a part of each other as bit, spurs and whip have been over the course of many centuries.

As opposed to bit and spurs, the round pen and the lead rope seems to have an image of kindness and friendliness whereas bits and spurs do not. "Working the horse gentle and without violence" is what I hear people say about it. When I ask people why it is so friendly, they mostly reply that it is natural to the horse to be handled in this way. Hence the term 'Natural Horsemanship' that is often used to describe a way of working with a horse with rope halter, rope and round pen.

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