Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

Frank (the horse in our pictures) is a big mover and pro­duces lots of power from his hindlegs so he can some­times find it dif­fi­cult to bal­ance and be se­cure in the con­nec­tion to the mouth. Then he’ll drop or lift his head or try to go be­hind the ver­ti­cal. Tran­si­tions are use­ful in this in­stance, es­pe­cially trot, walk, trot – do this ex­er­cise every ses­sion af­ter warm­ing up and stretch­ing. Ride them on a straight line then move on to a cir­cle, which is more chal­leng­ing as in­side rein and out­side leg comes into play. These tran­si­tions in­crease the en­ergy and en­gage­ment from be­hind and en­cour­age him to work with sup­ple­ness over his back to the con­tact. Com­mon prob­lems in­clude an abrupt down­wards tran­si­tion and re­sist­ing the for­wards aid back into trot, re­sult­ing in hol­low­ing and short­en­ing of the neck. Al­low the trot by con­trol­ling the amount you give with the reins as you ask so that he can go for­wards into the tran­si­tion. On the down­ward tran­si­tion, check you weren’t too en­thu­si­as­tic with the rein aids. Con­cen­trate on get­ting your horse in front of your leg into a steady con­tact and re­peat the ex­er­cise un­til you horse feels level in your hands and ac­tive from be­hind.

Get­ting it right

Frank strug­gles with the trot tran­si­tion

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