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Building a Better Shoulder-In with David Marcus

Its presence in dressage tests spans from second level where it is introduced, all the way to intermediaire I. As commonly used in daily training as it is, the shoulder-in is a notoriously difficult movement in which to achieve a high mark. “I learned something very interesting from an “O” judge at a symposium,” says David Marcus. “Shoulder-in first has to be about rhythm and angle.” This judge said to me, “if you can show a beautiful angle, meaning perfectly on three tracks from beginning to end, and in perfect rhythm with a perfect frame, I will give you an eight, even if there is no bend. If you can add bend to that without compromising any of the other things, I'll go to nine.” Marcus distinguishes between training the shoulder-in as preparation for competition and using it to improve other movements, but both approaches should have the same goal:…

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