Newsletter header
Connected work improves everything we do with horses.
It takes us from a language of concepts, to sensations of feel.
May 2017
Our cover photo: 
In celebration of mothers this month we honor this beautiful mare. Sally brought her filly Grace into this world just a few weeks ago. She is loved by DeWayne Brown in Oregon, U.S.A.

   From the Desk of Susan Cook


Our Mission: To improve the way horses are ridden and riding is taught~  

The lights of our mission will go off within a month or two 
without your support. 
I urge you to become a donor, and here's why:

Collision of Realities
As many of you in the Connected Community know, Peggy was bequeathed five American Hanoverian horses in August of 2015. These horses arrived with an array of presenting needs and issues, and have required over a year of intensive triage helping them find comfort and purpose. 
     Of these five horses,  Fancy, has been placed as a teaching horse, and is being well cared for and appreciated.  Isabella is healing from her injuries and is in the capable hands of someone who can meet her special needs in an amazingly loving forever home.  Lily was euthanized due to training method injuries beyond repair, as she was neurologically a danger to herself and others.  Robbie and  Dari still remain in our care and are not yet physically ready to be ridden. 

 It was an eye-opener to actually see what stuckness looks like on an x-ray. I just returned from a very profound day of observing these two horses, and numerous others, being assessed and treated for their various presenting issues.
     Robbie's neck vertebrae were layering on top of each other from a severe blow to his jaw. Dari's poll, S-I joints, and withers were frozen as well from some experiences early on that were too much for his young body to accommodate.  We will never know what happened to these horses before they were in our care, however, what we believe to be true is that they had encountered force(s) to their bodies that ricocheted compression throughout their beings that created immense amounts of stress, discomfort, pain, and restricted mobility. 

The collision of realities has happened again from actually having seen the results of handling, training methods and stress on these animals, who are here to awaken our consciousness as well as be a source of our devotion and joy in our partnership with them. I saw, with my own eyes, what Peggy sees and senses every day in the horses she touches, as she looks for ways to support them to free up their movement, and move out of "stuckness" and discomfort. 
     We, the School of Connected Riding, know the future of these horses is at a critical crossroads today.  I urge you to become a monthly donor at any level, to engage others to do the same, to help us draw sponsors, donors, partners, and friends to this mission... right now.

Peggy can no longer financially support this mission and these horses alone. The lights of the mission will go off within a month or two without your support. 

With much appreciation,
Susan Cook
Peggy Cummings

click on this image of Gracie:

"Some horses are born with poor postural patterns. 
Others acquire them as soon as a halter is put on them." 
Peggy Cummings


Peggy Cummings


From Peggy
   Weight Shift  1

What's Hot   2

Susan's Notes
   Legacy Horses?  3

   Four Corners  4

   Select books  5

SCR  Presents  
   opportunities  6

Past Newsletters
   Notice Yourself
   Teacher's Tip
   Teacher's Lounge
   NW Horse Expo
   Instructor's Tip

Hello Connected Riders.

Independence of Leg Movement in Horses
Weight Shift Exercise

One of the most gratifying parts of my work is returning to places where people are consistently applying Connected work with their horses. I was recently with a small group of riders in Calgary, Canada, where we spent four intensive days with horses that have a Connected foundation. The overall lesson became seeing the value of establishing the independent movement of the horses' legs.

Here are the highlights from those horses:

On day one, we worked with the "weight-shift" exercise, a progressed version of the 4 corners exercise. The women had begun this exercise the previous July (2016). We saw that the horses were not readily able to back up and release their head and necks and bend to either side (release dynamically, while moving all four feet independently), so we chunked down this exercise bit by bit, so the horses could begin to separate each distinctive movement and free up each step.
We began the weight-shift process by... 
(Continued on page 4.)


What's Hot!!
with Peggy

Limited openings remain:


3 Day Clinic: 
June 28-30, 2017
Deb Hutchings


 Individual Lessons 
July 7-8, 2017

Intermediate & Advance Riders


Two Weekend Clinics 
plus Groundwork Day
South Auckland
3 Day Refresher Clinic:
November 25-28, 2017
Groundwork Day:
November 29th, 2017
2 Day Introduction Clinic:
December 1-2, 2017

Green level Connected Riding® practitioner  in Germany



Petra has been a primary mentor of many of the Practitioners-in-Training in Germany and a key support person for Melin Farriols, our practitioner in Spain. She has spent countless hours helping up-and-coming CR riders and practitioners with their horses, their riding, as well as their teaching. Petra is deeply committed to working horses in Connection, and embraces the need for developing and rehabilitating horses through Connected Groundwork. Petra gives local demonstrations to Dressage groups, equine body workers, and vets to bring their awareness of how to approach their horses in more effective and beneficial ways. Petra has hosted many of us at her home and riding facility and we are grateful for her hard work and dedication! 

Independence of Leg Movement 
in Horses

by Peggy Cummings

(Continued from page 1.)
We began the weight-shift process by backing the horse. The handler
very lightly guided the horse from the middle of the halter initiating the release and bend. We discovered there was always one leg "sticking" more than the other three.
The first step was to slowly back the horse until the head and neck could release forward and downward.
Then, we added a slight and very slow movement of the head and neck back and forth, changing direction, crossing the midline to invite more release and shifting of weight backward.
Next, the horse was invited to come forward, and, initially, this was a difficult transition, as he would not lift through his base and withers.
And as the horses progressed over four days with the same exercise, the handlers were able to anticipate which leg was going to stick, and could assist that leg to activate by gently tapping the leg and changing the direction of the horse's bend as needed.
The handlers learned that when the horse was released through his body, and free in his back and legs, he could come forward or backward without losing the "sticky leg," maintaining the movement through the bends and transitions.
With this incremental approach to the weight-shift exercise, it provided each handler a more discerning feel, and the horse an easier and clearer way of sorting out his balance and ability to separate the movement and independence of his legs. And, the best part of all, voila: the ridden work dramatically improved -  walks were better, horses' legs were more accessible in both directions, and transitions were lighter and quicker in response. They could access the "sticky leg" under saddle with more ease, and they had fun!
Four corners exercise (see below) -is one of the foundational exercises to help the horse dynamically shift weight. It is the predecessor of the weight-shift exercise.
-Peggy Cummings

             Books on Sale
                 Peggy Recommends 
          these books for your library.   

Great Value!

                      Offer expires 07/31/2017 
                     Available at our stores only.

The School of Connected Riding Presents:


One Day 
Clicker Training Clinic with Horses

Peggy Hogan, 
CR Practitioner-retired


July 1 & 2, 2017

Check out Peggy Hogan, . Peggy is a skilled, fun, and wonderful teacher! Clicker training is a powerful tool for anchoring desired behaviors; boundaries, postures, and movement patterns for horses (dogs, too).


Required course 
for people on the path to becoming 
certified practitioners:

Your Area

Save the Date:



School of Connected Riding
101 Courses

September 28 - October 2, 2017

January 18-22, 2018

Lessons and Demonstration
Laura Faber-Morris
Diane J. Sept &
Peggy Cummings


August 5-7, 2017

Instructors' Workshop
Peggy Cummings


October 7, 2017

More information to come

Instructors' Workshop
Peggy Cummings


March 30, 2018

More information to come

Your Area
Instructors' Workshops

Workshop in your area:
Contact us at


Other Connected Opportunities!


Clinic Series
to Develop Horse and Rider

Karen Cheeke
CR Practitioner
April - September, 2017

click for more information ********************************************************************Click Here*