Level 2 Course Description

Level 2 Warm Up & Flexibility

One of the most important things that most people don’t think about before they mount up is getting themselves warmed up and gaining flexibility to develop and maintain an independent seat. Before you can ever effectively apply pressures and shades of pressures to your horse, it is critical that you develop an independent seat. Without it,  you will always be confusing your horse with pressures he does not understand. It takes time and commitment to develop an independent seat. A critical component to success is becoming flexible and building your core muscles. Most of you are not Olympic riders, but just a weekend warrior can benefit greatly by taking a few minutes each day to do some simple exercises to build strength and flexibility in the right places.

Keith Wilson, owner of Pro-Advantage Training in Gilbert, Arizona, trains professional athletes and has trained and outlined programs for Olympic riders. He was kind enough to put together a warm-up and training routine that takes only a few minutes every other day, and can benefit anyone who wants to improve their balance and effectiveness in the saddle. We go through these exercises in our clinics. It’s simple, easy and effective.

Flexibility & Strength Exercises by Keith

Lower Body Stretches

  1. Knee Hugs-5 each
  2. Quads-5 each
  3. Cradles-5 each
  4. Track Hamstring Stretch-10 each
  5. Lateral Lunge Shifts-5 each
  6. Kneeling Hip Flexor-10 each
  7. Calf Pumps-10 each

Upper Body Stretches

  1. Around the World-5 each direction
  2. Trunk Twists-10 each direction
  3. Arm Circles Forward-10 small, medium, big
  4. Arm Circles Backward-10 small, medium, big
  5. Back Slaps-10 total
  6. Overhead Reaches-10 each
  7. Scarecrows-15 each

Core Exercises

  1. Pelvic Tilt w/Bridge
  2. S.B. Sky Punches
  3. S.B. Bridges
  4. Prone to Hold Variations
  5. Lateral to Hold Variations
  6. S.B. Supine Hip Extensions

Lower Body Exercises

  1. S.B. Squats
  2. Lateral Band Walks

Hey, even if you do these just a couple times a week, it will help you and your horse

Level 2 Groundwork

This is where we start working on the basics of connection, rhythm, relaxation, body language and introducing both psychological and physical pressures. We are working on earning the horse’s trust and respect. Each lesson builds on one another in baby steps:


  1. Free Connection
  2. Standing Still, Body Exploration, Feet and Desensitization
  3. Halter Aid-Lower Head
  4. Halter Aid-Lateral Flexion
  5. Connection 1 of 2
  6. Connection 2 of 2
  7. Standing Tied
  8. Looking the Hindquarters Away
  9. Disengage the Hindquarters with Rope
  10. Hobble Train
  11. Looking the Forequarters Away
  12. Sidepass
  13. Direct & Drive Between the Fence and Obstacles
  14. Direct & Drive in Circles
  15. Direct & Drive in Circles with Direction Change
  16. Direct & Drive in Circles with Rate and Stop
  17. Free Longe in Circles with Rate and Stop
  18. Saddle
  19. Repeat Lessons 5,6,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,and 16 Under Saddle
  20. Bridle
  21. Rein Aid-Vertical Flexion from the Ground
  22. Rein Aid-Lateral Flexion from the Ground
  23. Rein Aid-Bit Up Exercise Lateral
  24. Rein Aid-Vertical Bit Up Exercises on Longe
  25. Rein Aid-Vertical Bit Up Exercises on Free Longe
  26. Mounting & Dismounting
  27. Freedom of Gaits-Repeat Lessons 5,6,8,9,11,12,13,14, and 16 Under Passenger

Now we are set to progress to Level 3, where we are mounted and introduce the seat, leg, and rein aids.

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