Western horse trainer, John Lyons is a strong believer in proper engagement. By engaging your horse’s core muscles, you can improve their balance, reduce fatigue and injury, strengthen their body, and better acclimate them for carrying the weight of a rider. Find out what proper engagement looks like and how you can achieve it with your horse!

John Lyons is a natural horsemanship trainer. He has been giving clinics around the United States since 1980. His approach is to use positive reinforcement in order to create a harmonized relationship between horse and handler. Lyons encourages the use of gentle techniques.

In his interview with Equitopia, he discusses what engagement means and how to accomplish it.

Engagement: To create movement forward or in a direction

Your horse must use their core muscles to take weight off of their front legs and shift it to their hindquarters. This makes the front end lighter and quicker to move. Your horse will feel very level under the saddle.

Some of my favorite exercises for engaging include: transitions, lateral movement, and hill work.

Now, check out this great video and listen to John Lyons further explain!


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