I just recently bought an OTTB who is 6 years old. He hasn't taken too kindly to jumping, so I thought I would try a bit of dressage and see how he takes to it. I'm not very knowledgable in this subject area, so I don't want to start off on the wrong foot.
I have questions concerning where to start, and how do I know I'm working him effectively?
The training scale is a good place to start, and also invest in some dressage lessons. You will know that you're working him effectively when you notice positive changes in his musculature, attitude and ridability and when you are becoming a better rider and becoming fitter yourself.
I have a 7 year old OTTB. When we first started our dressage training, the things I most had to work on were getting him to move forward off my leg, and getting him connected properly over his back. If you have a dressage trainer in your area, I highly suggest taking a few lessons so you can a good feel of what proper contact feels like and also have someone to help you with the forward part. There's also a website called the Art of Riding (I think) that has all of the concepts broken down into plain speak. I'm sure you can find it on google. Just know that when you start asking for you OTTB to start using himself correctly, he will be using all new muscles that he didn't use for racing, so he might have some stiffness from time to time.
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