Keep it sim­ple Adding a stride

NZ Horse & Pony - - Masterclass -

SEAN GETS Devon to re­peat the line, this time adding a stride, ask­ing for seven strides rather than six. The first time she fails, largely be­cause she was fight­ing Chez all the way to the fence, says Sean (right).

“You were hold­ing on and pulling, so what did he want to do? Es­cape. He was try­ing to get away from you,” says Sean.

He re­minds Devon to be clev­erer in her ap­proach to prob­lem-solv­ing, and tells her to pull up and halt in the mid­dle of the line. He gets her to re­peat this halt­ing ex­er­cise a cou­ple of times, un­til Chez starts to jump into the line and shorten his stride au­to­mat­i­cally. “You’ve ac­tu­ally put a bit of man­ners on to him,” says Sean. “If you just kept rid­ing this line the way you were, you’d never get the seven. You have to sim­plify it and ex­plain to him what you want: that he has to land, shorten and sit on his hocks.”

Af­ter halt­ing in the mid­dle a few times, Devon is able to can­ter down the line in seven strides easily (bot­tom right). “There you had him wait­ing and you could soften in the last stride. You’ve learned some­thing and he’s learned some­thing – you have more con­trol with­out hav­ing a tug of war.”

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