Check the Basics
Spring is on the way now and it is good to see students are now enthusiastic to get on with their training and competition plans. Well done to those of you who have already been out and about, because you have already done well. It shows that the basic training is so important and never forgotten.
It is really important to check out the fundamental training each time you school or train, and this is to make sure your horse is listening to, and understanding your aids.
When riding around the arena on a novice horse, the corners should be the arc of a 10 metre circle. This can then be a little tighter on the more advanced trained horse. The speed and rhythm must be maintained into the out of the corner with a supporting outside rein and a flexible inside rein. To be able to keep his balance, your horse should maintain a consistent contact on both reins and not slip off the contact on the less stiff side. This should also be checked using turns across the school and on symmetrical circles.
Whilst you are thinking of balance, you should also test out your transitions. Makes several transitions between the paces and then within the pace, so you can move from working to collected, or medium strides and your aids remain consistently the same so that your horse can “hear” the commands you are giving from the leg, seat and hand. Balance is tested again in these because when made correctly your horse is able to keep his weight back on his hind quarters, and stay light on his forehand and your hand.
I am still looking out for a grey mare or gelding that has manners and good basic training. It should be well enough “put together” to be shown, and it will have to learn to carry a side saddle.
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