Find Your Connecting Powerline

Purpose: Made famous by Finnish Olympic medalist Kyra Kyrklund, there is probably no better way of getting the right feeling for the connection.

Step 1 Stand at a halt. Ask a friend or your trainer to push the back of your upper arm forward toward the bit.

Step 2 Resist the push very slightly so your arm feels elastic (see photo). This causes you to engage muscles in your upper back in the area of your should blades (that lie flat against your back) and the back of your armpits. These are muscles that create a connection from the elbow to the bit — a connection in which the hand can influence the horse without pulling back. It feels like the energy flows from your elbow to the bit without backward influence. In this situation, you can stop or slow the energy by closing your fist, not by pulling back.