Make the horse rounder, rounder, rounder. Just make the horse rounder! 

Pull the horse’s head down!

Go get the draw reins!

We gotta stick him in the double (double bridle)!

You’ll ruin your horse if you don’t get his head down!

As long as the head is down, everything is fine. Carry on!

 

WAIT. What?!

Really?! Is this really the best the “experts” out there can say? Really?

Well, what’s the problem problem with that?

ADDRESSING ONLY THE HEAD AND NECK IS ADDRESSING THE SYMPTOM 

It is like cooling down the thermometer rather than addressing the infection which has caused the fever. Pulling the horse’s head down with the reins only address the symptom. The head and neck are merely revealing information about what is going on in the rest of the horse’s body. So when you address only the symptom, you are not only not addressing the issue, but you are making it harder to read the problem because you are adding another layer of problem which interferes with correct data.

"FRONT-TO-BACK RIDING"

Pulling the horse’s head down with the reins and only addressing the head and neck with the reins results in “front to back riding”. Over time this not only causes a disconnect between there eins and the rest of the horse’s body, but it causes the horse to use the rest of his body incorrectly AND over time, can create spavin and other unsoundness issues, not to mention behavioural problems (horses don’t like “front to back riding” because it feels oppressive to them).

TEACHES THE HORSE TO DISCONNECT

Pulling the head down with auxiliary aids, such as draw reins, side-reins, german martingale, chambon, etc. again only address the symptom, but on top of that it teaches the horse that the only way to deal with the discomfort of the device is to “disconnect” the front end from the hind end. The horse will learn to escape the discomfort of the device by fixing his head and neck into place, but this is not authentic and it interferes your ability to communicate with the rest of the horse’s body through the reins, such as to effectively straighten the horse or influence the bending ability of the joints of the horse’s hind legs through the reins.

THE DOUBLE BRIDLE IS A REFINING TOOL, NOT A "GET THE HEAD DOWN" TOOL

There is a correct and classical use of the double bridle, but it is a refining tool. It should never be used to “get the horse’s head down”. When horses are ridden prematurely with the double bridle they develop lamenesses, disconnection, and it is also essentially “from to back riding”, same as if you used rollkur or draw reins.

 

THE HORSE'S BODY PARTS DO NOT WORK IN ISOLATION

Whereas it is true that when the horse is working in an inverted outline, that he is developing incorrect muscles, the answer is not to pull the horse’s head down, or to get the horse’s head down at any expense. The horse’s body parts do not work in isolation - the head and neck are part of a bigger picture where every part of the body interacts with every other part of the body, biomechanically. The answer is instead to decipher WHY the horse is carrying his head and neck incorrectly, which has everything to do with the REST of the horse’s body, and usually has significantly less to do with the head and neck themselves. Once you can decipher WHY the horse is carrying himself this way, you can biomechanically address these unproductive movement patterns and replace them with healthier movement patterns which inevitably allow the horse to carry his head and neck in a healthier outline automatically (he no longer compensates by inverting).

"HEAD DOWN" DOES NOT  MEAN ALL IS GOOD

Head down does not necessarily mean all is good. You have to learn to be able to see and ride the whole horse, not just the head and neck. If the horse has the head down and neck is in a “pretty” outline, but the hind legs are trailing, not engaging, and not bending to absorb the weight then it means absolutely nothing. It is false. In fact, it is misleading. You need to learn to ride the WHOLE horse, not just the head and neck, and you need to learn to evaluate and assess the WHOLE horse so that you have accurate data with which to make your full assessment.

High quality contact develops from a relationship between Balance, Straightness, and Suppleness so the energy of the hind legs can travel freely along the spine to the reins and back (it makes no difference if you ride with a bit or with a bitless bridle). The head and neck are a balancing device and they find the right place when the horse is in balance, straight, and a connection has been built between the weight into all four legs of the horse and into the ground.

You select riding exercises which are designed to help the horse find his balance and improve his body awareness.

These exercises develop the horse physically, but also develop the horse intellectually, so that the horse is a willing partner in the training process.

You develop your own theoretical understanding so that you see how all the individual parts of the horse work together as a holistic system.

You develop your own awareness and coordination so that your seat and aids are in harmony and can communicate unambiguously with the horse.

When you are able to understand…

the real cause of the problems you are having and differentiate between symptoms and causes, then you can finally break out of the dead-end cycle of doing the same thing over and over again and hoping it eventually yields a different result.

 

Once you know HOW to determine the cause of the problems your horse is having, WHY, and WHAT you can do to FIX them, then you can relax and ride with the CONFIDENCE that you can handle anything that comes up, you can troubleshoot in the moment, and you can reach a level of collaboration and dialogue with your horse that eludes you when you are focused on the problems rather than the solutions.

But when you can tell the difference, you can address the CAUSE rather than putting band-aids over the symptom. Knowledge is FREEDOM.

LEARN HOW TO ADDRESS THE CAUSE...

 

When you know HOW to address the cause, you end the endless, tiring cycle of fix, re-fix, re-fix, re-fix...

Your riding can move beyond the constant focus of recovering from the loss of connection.

You can focus on the THINGS that actually MATTER and will move your riding forward.

You no longer need to be EMBARRASSED about your horse coming above the bit. Or behind the bit.

You can develop your horse's topline and protect your horse from damage to the back and legs from travelling in a way that is unhealthy for his body.

You can DEPEND on the consistent steady contact that allows you to do better quality work, allows your aids to go "through" more consistently, and allows you to progress up the levels.

You and your horse can ENJOY a better relationship because this is no longer a cause of frustration and annoyance for EITHER of you.

You can learn to use a variety of combinations of the seat the aids, exercises, and movements to FIX all of these symptoms CAUSES.

THIS is exactly what we teach our students, and we have developed a SYSTEM that helps you achieve results faster.

 

Wait. I should tell you a bit about us before we go any further.

We are Thomas and Shana Ritter.

We now live in Portugal, having moved here from Germany in February 2020. Thomas is an International Dressage Clinician, teaching all over Europe, the United States, and Canada. Shana is an FEI competitor, USDF Silver Medalist,  and developer of the Artistic Dressage Online Course Program.

 

We have spent our lives researching and diving in deeper. We have studied the biomechanics. We have extensively studied the classical equestrian literature. We have ridden with many of the great classical masters of our time. We have distilled our years and years of learning down into a system which is straight-forward and gives you actionable, concrete tools to make real change in your riding.

 

Thomas wrote about his system in his first book, “Dressage Principles Based on Biomechanics” published through Cadmos Press in 2011, and he further expanded upon the practical application of those principles applied to the training at the Long Rein with his second book, “Long Reining: From the Beginning through the Levade” in 2014.

 

What will it be like when you ENJOY the incredible feeling of true, authentic contact and connection with your horse?

AS SEEN ON...

FORM A DEEPER BOND AND  RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR HORSE BY WORKING WITH YOUR HORSE  AS A PARTNER.

ACHIEVE YOUR #RIDINGGOALS TOGETHER.

YOU CAN...

 

Educate yourself, your seat, your understanding, and your horse.

STOP HARMING.

Stop doing the things which are harming your horse’s ability to develop good, healthy contact  so you can finally build true connection.

AVOID THE BAD ADVICE.

Avoid the bad advice and mistakes which create even worse problems.

 

START ADDRESSING THE WHOLE HORSE.

Start addressing the whole horse in your everyday training rather than only seeing the parts in isolation.

DEVELOP HEALTHY HABITS.

Develop healthy riding habits and movement patterns in both yourself and your horse.

 

 

 

FORM A DEEPER BOND.

Form a deeper bond and relationship with your horse, because you are working together rather than antagonistically.

 

 

 

ENHANCE EVERYTHING ELSE.

Enhance everything else in your riding, because your aids come through cleaner without interference or blockages. This results in smoother transitions, better balance, clearer straightness, and livelier gaits.

 

GAIN A REPERTOIRE OF EXERCISES.

Gain a repertoire of riding exercises and knowledge about the biomechanics of contact and connection.

 

INTEGRATE FUN

Integrate creative and fun riding exercises into your daily riding, so that you are never at a loss of what to do on any particular day.

 

RESOLVE PROBLEMS.

Resolve deeply-ingrained problems that you had no idea were related to contact and connection.

 

Learning to ride "Back to Front" was never before this much FUN!!!

INTRODUCING

 

The 2021 Contact and Connection Course with Ritter Dressage. Starting August 2, 2021.

16-week online course to cultivate better quality, true, authentic contact and connection without resorting to devices or techniques which harm the horse’s soundness, happiness, progress, or the rider’s relationship with the horse.

WHAT’S IN THE BASIC LEVEL COURSE

BIOMECHANICS THEORY

Biomechanically-based theory components which explain how the interplay between the horse's body and the dressage training are spread throughout the entirety of the course. The theory is designed to stimulate your mind and cultivate your understanding. Each theory lesson builds upon the previous module, but they can also be used as a reference library.

GYMNASTIC EXERCISES

Each module has several biomechanically-based gymnastic horse exercises which correspond to the theory instruction, so you are are able to immediately apply the theoretical lessons into your riding, and experience first-hand how they work. Each exercise comes with a PDF with complete instructions outlining what to do, why to do it, and how to do it.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS

Each horse riding exercise is accompanied by an instructional video in which we expand upon the material in the exercise PDF, showing you where the problem spots are in the exercise and how to address the various problems that can come up while riding it. We also explain how to modify the exercise if you need to make simpler for a less trained horse, or more challenging for a higher level horse.

FELDENKRAIS LESSONS

We now include Feldenkrais lessons in nearly all of our courses for a distinct reason - they work! Throughout the course, we include Feldenkrais lessons which help you, as the rider, to learn better body awareness, coordination, flexibility, and control. Taught by Feldenkrais Practitioners, Catherine McCrum and Charlotte Zetterberg, you are in for a treat.

IMAGERY LESSONS

Often the best way to educate the body is through the power of visualization. We employ feeling-rich imagery lessons which convey not only the best way to sit, but also the best way to accommodate and shape the movement of the horse. Riders can use imagery on and off the horse, so that progress can be made even while not riding.

Q&A COACHING SESSIONS

You have questions and we actually encourage that!!! You will get access to all of the upcoming Q&A sessions, not only for the duration of this course (at least two per month, some months there are more) but also for every Q&A for every future version of this course. That’s right. That equates to lifetime support. It can’t get better than that!

In this course you will be developing a high-quality, more authentic (“REAL”) contact and connection with your horse. You will also have refined your feeling and use of your seat and aids to enable that higher quality connection and relationship with your horse. (So yummy you will want to savor it!

THE COURSE SYLLABUS

Module 1 - Why Contact

Why do I need rein contact?
Connection and Rein Contact as a Whole Body Experience
Honest Connection vs. Fake Outline
Road Map to a good Rein Contact

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lesson
Feldenkrais Lessons
Module 2 - Aspects of Contact and Connection

Aspects of Contact & Connection
Balance
Pushing vs. carrying
Straightness
Suppleness & Relaxation
Conformation

2 Riding Exercises
1 Imagery Lesson
Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lesson

Module 3 - Theory of Contact (The WHAT)

What does “on the bit” mean?
What is the right amount of contact? How much is too much contact?
What is the right rein length?

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lesson
2 Feldenkrais Lessons
2 Curated Yoga Lessons

Module 4 - Creating Rein Contact

How do I get my horse on the bit?
Ingredients for a Good Rein Contact
How do I pick up the reins or shorten the reins?
How do I get a light, steady, even contact?
How do I get the horse to reach forward to the rein contact?
How do I ride my horse over the back and into the outside rein?
How do I feel whether the contact is correct?
How do I identify how much contact a certain horse needs?

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lesson
2 Feldenkrais Lessons
2 Curated Yoga Lessons

Module 5 - The Seat and Contact

How to sit to create a good quality rein contact  
Position
Stirrup Length
The Pelvis
The Thighs
Knees and Lower Legs
The Torso
Arms, Elbows, Wrists, and Fingers
Seat Function

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lesson
2 Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lesson

Module 6 - Application of the Aids

How do I develop a light, friendly hand, that is always ready to yield?
How Many Rein Aids Are There?
Framing And Turning The Shoulders
Lifting A Shoulder
Lifting The Withers

2 Riding Exercises
1 Imagery Lesson
2 Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lesson

Module 7 - Contact in Motion

Half Halts
Where Are My Horse’s Feet?
Connecting A Leg To The Ground And The Weight
How do I keep a good rein contact during transitions?
Bending Rein Aids

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lesson
2 Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lessons

Module 8 - Contact Problems

Rein Contact Problems: Symptoms and their Causes
Rein Contact Is Too Heavy
Rein Contact Is Too Light
Resistance against rein contact
Horse pulling/rooting
Uneven Contact
Mouth and Tongue Problems
Poll twisting/tilting

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lessons
2 Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lessons

Module 9 - More Contact Issues

Unsteady Head Position
Unsteady hands
Curling up
False Bend
Inverting
Better contact in bitless bridle
One hand higher than the other

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lessons
1 Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lessons

Module 10 - Advanced Concepts

Elevation, Poll Flexion, and Collection
Kinetic chains and blockages
The French Tradition - Ramener
Rassembler
Légèreté

2 Riding Exercises
2 Rider Demo Videos
1 Imagery Lessons
1 Feldenkrais Lessons
1 Curated Yoga Lessons

LIFETIME ACCESS

You never lose access to your course materials, as long as we are alive and able to support the course platform (and we hope that is a very, very long time). That means that you can work as fast or as slow through the materials as you wish. That means that if you get sick, tired, injured  - you can pause at anytime and come back to it whenever you and your horse are ready for more. It will always be there for you, and so will we. In addition, you will always receive the newest version of the course, automatically.

AT THE PREMIUM LEVEL...

 

For those riders looking to up-level their riding and their course experience, we are now offering a Premium Level of participation.

At the Premium Level you get everything in the Basic level PLUS...

LIVE HOT SEAT COACHING

New for 2021! You need precision feedback and we know that. That is why we are now including a Live Hot Seat Session for each Module of the Course. We get together on a live Group Zoom session and watch your submitted videos, and we break down what is happening, often frame by frame to point it out clearly so you can SEE and UNDERSTAND what is happening. Then we give you exercises and tips to address what we see. You can ask questions right there, and there is a chat where you can talk to the other participants in real-time. You can even ask questions about other participants' videos. If you cannot attend live, you can watch the recording afterward.

ACCOUNTABILITY PODS

Accountability accelerates performance.

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) found the following in a recent study:
* 65% of their participants completed a goal if they asked someone to hold them accountable to their goals and fully committed to accomplishing their project with their accountability partner.
* 95% of people successfully met their goals when they did the above and attended a specific appointment with their accountability partner/people to discuss their progress and success.

EXCLUSIVE FACEBOOK GROUP

One of the most gratifying parts of this course is the incredible community. Since its original inception in 2019, the community that is built around this course  is the most tight-knit, supportive, and stimulating group we have ever cultivated. As a member of the course, you are granted a lifetime VISA into the community. It spans many continents, several languages, includes riders of all levels and types, and is your new homeland. Welcome home!

LOOM FEEDBACK VIDEOS

New for the 2021 Course! As an alternative to the Live Hot Seat sessions, you can choose to get feedback on your videos through our special "Loom" Feedback Videos. These are short videos we create with our feedback and commentary on your videos. The advantage of these is that we can do them quickly, so you can get pointed feedback in a timely fashion without waiting for the next Hot Seat Session.

ENROLLMENT IS OPEN FOR A LIMITED TIME.

 
We last offered this course in 2019. Those who passed it up have had to wait two full years before we offered it again.  (I know, because we got many emails from people that were anxiously waiting for this course to come back!) Finally that time is NOW.  But we don't know when we will be offering it next.  If you pass it up, do you REALLY want to wait potentially two more years?
The course begins August 2, 2021 -  your time is NOW.

WE KNOW YOU WILL LOVE THIS COURSE, BUT WE GET IT THAT YOU DON'T KNOW THIS YET. WE WILL GIVE YOU A FULL 30 DAYS TO FALL IN LOVE.  100% SATISFIED.

If you’re not 100% satisfied with this program, the strategies and teachings, or the support after 30 days, we will offer you an entire refund. Make your payment today, and you don’t even have to decide if you’re in for good! Take the full 30 days to explore the materials and experience the vibe of our community and THEN… make a decision using the information YOU HAVE, rather than the information you don’t.

 

FAST-ACTION BONUSES.

 

Regardless of level, we also have some mouth-watering bonuses to share with you…

Each day or so until the course begins on August 2, one of these bonuses will disappear.

.01

VIRTUAL ÉLÈVE BUNDLE  (value €50)

A collection of videos where we recorded commentary about an assortment of videos from the Spanish Riding School and Nuno Oliveira. More to be added soon, and you will automatically receive all future additions.

.02

BONUS: ON THE BIT CHALLENGE DOWNLOADABLE RECORDINGS (value €150)

Didn't get to it all during the challenge? Or, didn't have time to take notes? Don't worry. You've got the downloadable  (and closed captioned) video and audio recordings of every training video and Q&A session from the 2021 On the Bit Challenge. Perfect for listening to in the car on the drive to the barn.

.03

BONUS MASTERCLASS: THE ROLE OF TEMPO AND SPEED ON THE HORSE'S SOUNDNESS (value €29,99)

A recording of a special masterclass from April 2019. In this masterclass, Thomas discusses the important role and considerations you must keep in mind regarding temp and speed when training your horse in regards to keeping your horse sound and restoring soundness to a lame horse.

.04

BONUS MASTERCLASS: WHAT IS STIRRUP-STEPPING? (value €29,99)

Recording from a Live Masterclass Dr. Ritter taught in May 2019. In this 1 hour and 40 minute Masterclass presentation, Dr. Ritter explains what Stirrup-Stepping is, why it is helpful to use it in your training, and how it works. He also teaches you how to get started using it and how to combine it with other elements of your training.

.05

BONUS MASTERCLASS: THE FULL PASS (value €29,99)

Recording from a Live Masterclass Dr. Ritter taught in May 2019. In this 1 hour Masterclass presentation, Dr. Ritter explains what the Full Pass is, how it is different from a leg yield or Half Pass, why it is helpful to use it in your training, and how to ride it effectively with your horse.

.06

BONUS MASTERCLASS: THE HALF-HALT (value €29,99)

Recording from a Live Masterclass Dr. Ritter taught in May 2019. In this 1.5 hour Masterclass presentation, Dr. Ritter explains the what, why, and how of the Half Halt, its biomechanical function and why it is important to understand the timing to do it well.

.07

BONUS: HOW CAN FELDENKRAIS HELP RIDERS RECORDINGS (value €9)

These are 7 Feldenkrais lessons designed as a nice introduction to Feldenkrais, if you have no prior experience with it. These are beneficial to help you change your movement patterns and improve your riding. Downloadable audio and video files. Do them anywhere, anytime.

.08

BONUS RECORDING: 3 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR REIN CONTACT (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.09

BONUS RECORDING: 3 THINGS YOU MUST NOT DO IF YOU WANT GOOD REIN CONTACT (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.10

BONUS RECORDING: HOW TO IMPROVE THE HORSE'S TOPLINE (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.11

BONUS RECORDING: HOW TO GET YOUR HORSE ON THE BIT (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.12

BONUS RECORDING: FAIL FORWARD: EMBRACING YOUR MISTAKES (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.13

BONUS RECORDING: HOW DO I GET A LIGHT STEADY EVEN REIN CONTACT (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.14

BONUS RECORDING: SEIZE AND CREATE OPPORTUNITIES IN YOUR RIDING (value €9)

Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

.15

BONUS RECORDING: THE CIRCLE OF THE AIDS (value €9)

The circle of aids is a description of the mechanism that allows the energy impulses of the hind legs to travel along the horse's spine to the reins and back again through the rider's seat to the hind legs. It connects the horse from back to front and enables the rider to flex the hind legs with the combined weight of horse and rider. Fully downloadable video and audio recordings of this special bonus with Thomas & Shana Ritter. Lifetime access. View or listen online or offline.

You had me at "Mouth Watering"!

The 2021 Contact and Connection Course

 

The real secret to exquisitely delicious Contact and Connection

PREMIUM LEVEL - Have your Cake and Eat it, too!
Complete 16-week, 10-Module Course. . . . . . . . . . .(Value €950)
Q&A Coaching Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €500)
Feldenkrais Lessons for the Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €250)
Hot Seat Coaching Package. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .  (Value €450)
Loom Feedback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €300)
Exclusive FB Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Virtual Eleve Bundle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €50)
On the Bit Challenge Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Set of 4 Masterclasses with Thomas Ritter. . . . (Value €119,96)
How Can Feldenkrais Help Riders Recordings . . . . (Value €9)
Set of 9 Bonus Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €63)
Accountability Pods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (priceless)
2021 Course Completion Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(priceless)
 

TOTAL VALUE = (€2991,96)

Today's Price = €597

*payment plans also available

BASIC LEVEL - Just the fact, ma'am!
Complete 16-week, 10-Module Course. . . . . . . . . . .(Value €950)
Q&A Coaching Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €500)
Feldenkrais Lessons for the Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €250)
Virtual Eleve Bundle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €50)
On the Bit Challenge Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Set of 4 Masterclasses with Thomas Ritter. . . . (Value €119,96)
How Can Feldenkrais Help Riders Recordings . . . . (Value €9)
Set of 9 Bonus Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €63)
2021 Course Completion Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(priceless)
 

TOTAL VALUE = (€2091,96)

Today's Price = €397

*payment plans also available

Yes! Premium Level ALL the way!
Basic Level only please

HAPPY HORSES + HAPPY RIDERS

 

I have been riding for decades but never found the “secret of riding on the bit” that seemed effortless for others. The Ritter courses have explained my elusive butterfly in theory and in videos so I finally have been able to have a straight, comfortable, courageous mare with clear communication between us. And all without any need for strong (abusive) aids that previous trainers used on her. Gabby and I are so happy!

- Barbara Ellis

This was my first Ritter Course, have done many since, but this one helped me so much to understand and apply the theory behind this very complex issue of contact and connection. The Ritters have put a lot of thought into this course-their attention to detail and their ability to teach this concept in a format that allows the rider to understand and take immediately to their riding sessions is just so rewarding. Looking forward to revisiting this course.

- Sue Ann Schmitz

This course helped me to understand better of what contact and horse being a bit means. Also I discovered horse has a back, which I can influence with my seat and circle of aids. Different contact problems get understanding of What, Why and How. My seat started to develop during this course and some horses started getting rounder, which gave me great feelings. Excited to re-run the course and deepen my understanding of contact and connection :-)

- Maija Ylämäki

I am so excited to revisit this course with my new horse! The Ritter courses have helped me so much over the years and I can’t wait to continue improving my knowledge with my horse.

- Sonya Steeby

I have done most Ritter courses and love the teaching style. Thomas and Shana are amazing at getting into the reason of everything, the Why. They have helped me to decode what I feel at the end of the rein. Now any contact issues are simply information about the horse's body and as soon as I fix the cause the contact is back to being fab.

- Morgan Laura Osborne

I love Contact and Connection course! It opened a new world for me to riding.

- Theresa Silfver

I loved the combination of theory, mental images and horse exercises. The Feldenkrais lessons are awsome to create body awareness and uncover the rider's own stiffness and crookedness that reflects on the horse. Invaluable for me were the lessons in the video coaching clinic. I'm a visual learner and seeing what is happening and Thomas' comments and suggestions at the exact moment were very educative and helpful Many things I could transfer to my own riding. Filming me riding on a regular basis during the course was essential to see the small differences, what worked, what didn't. I think my riding has improved quite a bit and I'm more confident solving problems as I've more tools in the box now. Looking forward to going through the course again!

- Verena Fuchs

I'm so ready to get back with a Ritter course as soon as I can. They are so incredible and I learned so much over the years. I'm lucky to get to share the horse of a friend here right now. He really changed since March, I think he might be in the process of being "ritterized". Even the instructor my friend rides with made a comment how much the horse has improved lately. Thank you all who make the courses possible, Thomas, Shana Ritter , Catherine McCrum and everyone else involved.

- Birgit MacKenzie

Remember, if you want to break out of the cycle of frustration, of only addressing symptoms and not knowing the nuts and bolts of how to achieve REAL, steady, elastic, and light contact and connection with your horse, then you are going to have to do something to change what you are doing. You need to take action to learn the things that will make a lifelong change in your riding.

It is not just practice that makes perfect, but strategic practice and the right SUPPORT that makes perfect.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
What if I ride bitless?

You do not need to ride with a bit. The principles for a good contact are universal, regardless of whether you are riding with a bit or bitless bridle.

How fast can I expect to see results?

Within the first 3-4 weeks, you will already experience noticeable improvement.

When are the Live Q&A sessions and how do I attend?

We hold bi-weekly Q&A coaching sessions, so that means there are, on average, two Q&A coaching sessions per month. We try to vary the times so that we can accommodate our members all over the world in different timezones. In the first week, there will be some additional sessions to help everyone get started with the course.

All sessions are held through a Zoom webinar. Instructions for how to download the free Zoom software and how to access the sessions are included when you enroll and also enclosed in each event reminder. A time converter link is always provided for your convenience in calculating the time for your timezone.

What is a "Hot Seat" Coaching Session?

If you want feedback on the exercises ridden in the course, you can submit video. Each session has its own GoogleDoc on which you will sign up for a spot. In the Session, Thomas will be reviewing the submitted videos live on Zoom. He will break down what is happening. He often plays the video frame-by-frame to point it out clearly so you can see what he is explaining. He will give you exercises and tips to address what he sees. You can ask questions right there, and there is a chat where you can talk to the other participants in real-time. If you cannot attend live, you can watch the recording afterward. The Hot Seat sessions are held monthly, and if Thomas cannot finish all of the submissions within that session, we will schedule follow-up session(s) so no one is ever left out or behind.

What is "Loom Feedback"?

Early in 2021 we discovered that we could use an App called Loom to quickly, easily, and simply record short commentary videos right on top of students' videos, and we started implementing this into all of our courses with incredible results. You don't have to download anything. We give you the link and you can watch from any device, as many times as you like.

What if I can't watch the Q&As or the Hot Seat sessions live?

Not a problem. All sessions are always recorded and the recordings are uploaded to the Q&A archives within 24-48 hours after the session is over. Every recording is available in downloadable video and audio format so you can watch or listen, whenever, and wherever you prefer.

How much time is required?

We know you have a busy life, you need time to actually go to the barn and ride your horse so you can implement what you are learning, and you don’t want to spend ALL of your time sitting in front of a computer watching videos every week. That is why we have broken this course down into 10 weekly modules so that it is doable. We also have incorporated periodic "catch-up" weeks so that no one falls behind. Each module should take you no more than, on average, 2 hours per week to go through. In addition, there are two Q&A sessions per month, and each one lasts 1-2 hours. So that means a range of 6-12 hours per month. Of course, we cannot predict the amount of time you spend in the Facebook Group because that is entirely dependant upon how much time you enjoy interacting with the other riders in there. If you join an Accountability Pod, you will want to factor in a little additional time for interacting with your Pod-members.

What is an Accountability Pod?

Accountability can increase your chances of success in this course by 95%!!! In 2020 we started incorporating the OPTION for our course members to join Accountability Pods. Each pod is a small group of motivated course members who support each other through their own zoom meetings, group messages, and/or private FB group. In the first week of the course, you will receive a survey to complete if you wish to be assigned to a Pod. Shortly thereafter, we will assign you to a Pod of members we think you will connect with. Our Pods have achieved SO MUCH SUCCESS - it is one of the best additions we have made to our courses! Often the Pod members become very close friends with each other, outside of the course as well as within it. We highly recommend it.

Will this course work for me and my horse?

We try to be all-welcoming. That means if you want to learn, we will do our very best to teach you. This course is suitable for thinking riders who are passionate about learning and have been looking for someone to answer all their questions. It is suitable for you:
whether you are a novice or professional rider.
Whether you are a dressage rider, a jumper, a western rider, or anything else in between.
Whether you have taken every online course out there, or have never taken one before.
Regardless of the breed or kind of horse you ride
Regardless of the kind of tack you use, or whether you use no tack at all
Regardless of whether you primarily ride or do work from the ground (most exercises are adaptable to work-in-hand and at the long-rein, and we are able to suggest modifications when needed)
Whether you are ambitious or wish to take your time.

What type of tack do I need? What other equipment will I need?

You need a horse to ride and a relatively level space to ride in. An arena with adequate footing is recommended but we have had course members who have had success even without a standard “arena” to ride in. In most cases, you can modify the exercises based on your riding conditions and we are able to suggest modifications whenever you need help finding a suitable way to modify an exercise for your situation. Not required but recommended: approximately 20 cones or other arena markers (homemade is fine), a smartphone/video camera/robotic camera to record your rides. You will also need an internet connection and a computer/tablet/smartphone with which to access the course materials and Facebook Group.

What level is this course appropriate for?

You should be able to do ride walk and trot. Canter is not necessary, but you will benefit even more if you can incorporate canter work. You do not need to already be highly experienced with lateral movements, but we do include them in this course, so you should be at least willing to learn and experiment with using lateral movements in your riding. If you have no experience with them but an open mind and curiosity to learn, you'll do fine.

What if I can't keep up or I or my horse get sick or injured and fall behind?

Just because one module is released per week does not mean you need to complete the content at that pace. You can take as much time as you need to go through each module. You have lifetime access to the materials, all course upgrades, and the Facebook Group (at Premium level), so you can work through it all at the pace that best suits you and your horse. You can come back to it at any time, you can start over at any time, and you can pick up wherever you left off whenever you like.

What if I want to watch everything off-line?

Every single video, every Q&A, every Hot Seat, every Loom feedback video, every audio file, every exercise PDF, every diagram, every checklist, and the course Workbook… EVERYTHING is completely downloadable and yours to keep forever.

What if I am not riding right now? What if I don't ride anymore myself but I teach and want to learn more to help my students?

This course is yours to learn from however it suits you best. Some of our other members are instructors who no longer ride anymore but they use our trainings and exercises to improve their teaching for their students. We have had members join when they are unable to ride due to injury, illness, pregnancy, or life circumstance. It is not a problem. You can study the materials and apply the riding exercises later, etc.

What if I want to take a future "Contact and Connection" course after this one?

When you enroll today, you lock in access to all future upgrades and versions of the course. That includes access to all of the Q&As (regardless of whether you join at Basic or Premium Level). So when we run the course again, you can take it again alongside all of the Alumni and new members. In fact, it is a common theme in our Ritter Courses that the students come back time and time again to re-take the courses. Sometimes with different horses, and sometimes with the same horse but to refine their riding at a higher level.

Is everything available immediately?

No. You will have instant access to most of the bonuses as soon as your payment is processed. We begin the course on August 2nd with an Orientation week. Module 1 of the course will be released on August 2nd and each subsequent module is released weekly from then on, with some weeks "break" incorporated for integration and catch-up.

I take lessons regularly with a trainer. Will this still work for me?

Yes, absolutely. It isn’t necessary to have a home instructor, but it can be an advantage if you do. We have many members who have regular riding instructors and take lessons, some regularly and others more periodically. In any case, the regular lessons are an advantage because you can get feedback from your instructor on how you are implementing the lessons learned in the course. In most cases, the members in our courses have reported back to us that their instructor helps them go over the course materials and helps coach them through the riding exercises. In several cases, we have then had those instructors join our courses, too, and they work through the materials with all of their students.

I don't have access to a trainer, instructor, or competent "eyes on the ground." Will this work for me?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, how advantageous that you have the option to learn this way when you have no access to local instruction. You can fall back on the live Q&A coaching sessions and the Facebook community (at Premium level) for camaraderie, support, and feedback in the absence of a local instructor.

I have taken other online programs for horsemanship, dressage training, straightness, etc. How is this different? Do I still need this?

No other program teaches our framework, our system, our methods, and our exercises. And no other program has the support of Thomas, Shana, and Catherine to give you pinpointed answers to your questions.

I have a non-typical horse breed for Dressage (Icelandic, TWH, Quarter Horse, Standardbred, etc.) Can I still take this course?

Yes! In fact, you won’t be the only one. We have a growing community of non-traditional horses and riders in our courses. It is a melting pot where everyone finds common ground through the love of the horses, the passion for learning, and the ability to apply the principles and exercises regardless of the breed of the horse, background of horse or rider, or the preferred equipment to use.

Do I need any special program or software?

You can access everything with an internet browser, however there is a free app for the course content which enables you to easily navigate the course materials on your mobile device. You will need to download the free Zoom app to access the Q&A sessions. We give complete instructions inside the course platform.

Do you have people who have used this course with success?

Yes, many! We have riders who have used this system to finally transcend being stuck at one level for many years, despite trying every solution that came along and then being frustrated and defeated that it didn’t work. We have had riders who have used it to take their horses from green to FEI. We have had riders who have never been able to find a learning style that worked for them who have told us it is like we are speaking their language and how grateful they are to finally find someone who can answer things in a way they can FINALLY understand.

What if this course is not what I expect?

Perhaps it will be even better than you expect! But nevertheless, if you are unhappy with it for any reason, we have a 30-day full money back guarantee.

Is there a guarantee?

We cannot guarantee success. That is up to you. There is no quick-fix method to anything. You still have to show up, study, and implement what you learn. But knowledge is power and the more access you have to knowledge and tools that WORK, the more you increase your chances of success. As far as satisfaction with the course, we have a 30-day money back guarantee. Try it and see if you like it for 30 days before making your final decision.

What is my obligation in this course?

You can do this course however it suits you. You do not need to join the Facebook Group if you prefer not to be on Facebook, but you are welcome to do so. You do not need to participate in the live Q&As or Hot Seat sessions, but you are welcome to do so. You do not need to post video of yourself for feedback, but you are welcome to do so.

Can I share this course with my spouse/child/parent?

We are happy to grant access to a fellow family member living in the same household. 

How do I enroll? How do I pay for the course?

Click the button right here. There are several payment plans possible. Select your currency preference. You can pay via Credit Card, PayPal, or Bank Transfer (email us for bank transfer details). Enter your details and payment info. Within a few minutes, you will receive an email with your login information and a link to the course platform where you will find further instructions. You will also then receive instructions on how to join the Facebook Group (Premium level), etc. If you have any trouble, email us at [email protected] so we can help.

What if I have more questions about the course? What if I have problem with the payment? What if I want to pay with Bank Transfer instead of credit card or PayPal?

Just email us at [email protected]  .

The 2021 Contact and Connection Course

 

The real secret to exquisitely delicious Contact and Connection

PREMIUM LEVEL - Have your Cake and Eat it, too!
Complete 16-week, 10-Module Course. . . . . . . . . . .(Value €950)
Q&A Coaching Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €500)
Feldenkrais Lessons for the Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €250)
Hot Seat Coaching Package. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .  (Value €450)
Loom Feedback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €300)
Exclusive FB Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Virtual Eleve Bundle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €50)
On the Bit Challenge Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Set of 4 Masterclasses with Thomas Ritter. . . . (Value €119,96)
How Can Feldenkrais Help Riders Recordings . . . . (Value €9)
Set of 9 Bonus Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €63)
Accountability Pods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (priceless)
2021 Course Completion Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(priceless)
 

TOTAL VALUE = (€2991,966)

Today's Price = €597

*payment plans also available

BASIC LEVEL - Just the fact, ma'am!
Complete 16-week, 10-Module Course. . . . . . . . . . .(Value €950)
Q&A Coaching Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €500)
Feldenkrais Lessons for the Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €250)
Virtual Eleve Bundle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €50)
On the Bit Challenge Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Set of 4 Masterclasses with Thomas Ritter. . . . (Value €119,96)
How Can Feldenkrais Help Riders Recordings . . . . (Value €9)
Set of 9 Bonus Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €63)
2021 Course Completion Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(priceless)
 

TOTAL VALUE = (€2091,96)

Today's Price = €397

*payment plans also available

Yes! Premium Level ALL the way!
Basic Level only please

Premium Level Payment Plan Options

 
Complete 16-week, 10-Module Course. . . . . . . . . . .(Value €950)
Q&A Coaching Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €500)
Feldenkrais Lessons for the Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €250)
Hot Seat Coaching Package. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .  (Value €450)
Loom Feedback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €300)
Exclusive FB Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Virtual Eleve Bundle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €50)
On the Bit Challenge Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Set of 4 Masterclasses with Thomas Ritter. . . . (Value €119,96)
How Can Feldenkrais Help Riders Recordings . . . . (Value €9)
Set of 9 Bonus Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €63)
Accountability Pods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (priceless)
2021 Course Completion Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(priceless)

TOTAL VALUE = (€2991,96)

 

Full Pay = €597

One Time Payment

Other Currency Options:
USD $709
GBP £510
CAD $884
AUD $965
NZD $1017

 3-Pay €237/mo

3 monthly payments of €237

Other Currency Options:
USD 3 x $282
GBP 3 x £203
CAD 3 x $351
AUD 3 x $384
NZD 3 x $404
NOTE:  Payment plans are not a subscription.

 6-Pay €127/mo

6 monthly payments of €127

Other Currency Options:
USD 6 x $151
GBP 6 x £109
CAD 6 x $188
AUD 6 x $205
NZD 6 x $217
NOTE:  Payment plans are not a subscription.

 12-Pay €77/mo

12 monthly payments of €77

Other Currency Options:
USD 12 x $92
GBP 12 x £66
CAD 12 x $114
AUD 12 x $125
NZD 12 x $132
NOTE:  Payment plans are not a subscription.

Enroll at the PREMIUM LEVEL

Basic Level Payment Plan Options

 
Complete 16-week, 10-Module Course. . . . . . . . . . .(Value €950)
Q&A Coaching Package . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €500)
Feldenkrais Lessons for the Rider. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €250)
Virtual Eleve Bundle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €50)
On the Bit Challenge Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €150)
Set of 4 Masterclasses with Thomas Ritter. . . . (Value €119,96)
How Can Feldenkrais Help Riders Recordings . . . . (Value €9)
Set of 9 Bonus Recordings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Value €63)
2021 Course Completion Certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(priceless)

TOTAL VALUE = (€2091,96)

 

Full Pay = €397

One Time Payment

Other Currency Options:

USD $472

GBP £340

CAD $588

AUD $642

NZD $677

 3-Pay €167/mo

3 monthly payments of €167

Other Currency Options:
USD 3 x $199
GBP 3 x £143
CAD 3 x $248
AUD 3 x $270
NZD 3 x $285
NOTE:  Payment plans are not a subscription.

 6-Pay €97/mo

6 monthly payments of €97

Other Currency Options:
USD 6 x $116
GBP 6 x £83
CAD 6 x $144
AUD 6 x $157
NZD 6 x $166
NOTE:  Payment plans are not a subscription.

 12-Pay €57/mo

12 monthly payments of €57

Other Currency Options:
USD 12 x $68
GBP 12 x £49
CAD 12 x $85
AUD 12 x $93
NZD 12 x $97
NOTE:  Payment plans are not a subscription.

Enroll at the BASIC LEVEL

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