WAKE UP IN YOUR WARM UP
Start as you mean to go on and wake up your horse from the get-go by incorporating lots of transitions in your warm up. “Transitions get your horse listening to you and ensure he’s on your aids,” explains Willa. “These transitions don’t necessarily need to be changes of gear (walk to trot, trot to canter and so on), but can also be transitions within gaits, including collecting and extending your trot.”
How to ride it
The world is your oyster with transitions, but here are a few ideas for starters: TRANSITION EXERCISE ONE Go large around your school in trot. Down the long sides of your school, extend your horse’s trot. On the short sides, collect the trot. Change the rein and repeat. Remember, you want the length of your horse’s stride to change — which isn’t the same as going faster or slower. You’ll know when you’ve pushed your horse out of a rhythm because he’ll become unbalanced. TRANSITION EXERCISE TWO Go large around your school in walk. At each quarter of the school (A, B, C, E), ride a transition (either up/ down to walk or canter, or extending/ collecting within the pace). Repeat this three or four times. Change the rein and repeat. TRANSITION EXERCISE THREE In trot, ride a 20m circle on the left rein, starting at A. Each time you reach the top of your circle (in other words at A and X), ride a transition (either up/down to walk or canter, or extend/collect the trot). Repeat this each time you go around the circle. Change the rein and repeat.
Extending and shortening your trot counts as a transition and gets your horse listening to your aids