WAKE UP IN YOUR WARM UP

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

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

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