Use a bit your horse responds to, and consider using spurs if your horse is lazy. Use two hands on the reins for the best control and clearest cues from your hands, then advance to one-handed riding once you and your horse are dialed in to the transition cues.
Warm up your horse so he’s ready to listen for random, ongoing cues for speed changes. Be ready to put in effort for this session— your repeated upward and downward transitions will require your body to work hard in the saddle.
Begin at a jog. Pay attention to your horse’s cadence so he’s balanced in his gait. Keep contact with the bit, and drive him forward with your seat to maintain a consistent stride and pace. Look forward, and keep your torso square. The more correct your riding position, the more effective you'll be.
Ask your horse to extend his jog. Extension means a longer stride, not faster feet. Tap with both heels for an even “go forward” cue, put your hands forward to encourage his extension, and cluck or kiss. Ideally, your upward transition should take two or three strides. If it takes longer, be more assertive with your cues. Also check that you’re not inhibiting his forward motion by keeping your reins too tight. If your horse breaks into a lope, you’re using too much cue and need to back off a little.
Transition back down to a jog without walking. If you’ve been posting the extended trot, cease that motion. Sit deeply on your pockets—not back behind your horse’s motion—to shorten his stride back down to a jog. If your horse is familiar with a voice cue to rate back, use it; but keep your legs on him to maintain a two-beat gait. Once you achieve the transition, you can let up a little with the leg pressure to the same level you had in Photo 1. These cues require you to know your horse and the level of cueing he requires. It’ll take trial and error to master the correct mix of pressure.
Pick up a nice and easy lope. Again, be sure it’s a true gait with three beats and even cadence. Keep soft contact with your horse’s mouth, and drive him from behind for