Back to basic horse training and riding school movements for the winter schooling months. Basic horse training riding school movements such as circles, turns and changes of rein can go a long way to assist you with your horse development.
Get the most from a horse training session by using schooling figures. Riding a variety of figures ensures that you develop the horse in a supple and consistent fashion.
Lateral Suppling Exercises
Horse training exercises for lateral suppleness include:
- Changes of rein
- Leg yields
- Shoulder in
It is important to remember that you need to train both sides of your horse. If you feel that your horse is more supple in one direction than another your horse training sessions should include more lateral suppleness on the horses stiff side. Lateral suppleness means the ability of the horse to bend from side to side from ears to tail.
Top 3 Points to Remember When Training Your Horse
When performing these horse training exercises it is important to remember to concentrait on the:
- Quality of the gait. This means that the rhythm of the horse must remain the same. If you are troting it means that the 1-2 , 1-2, 1-2 beat of the trot stays even. If the rhthym changes it identifies a fundamental training ‘hole’. Keeping the rhythm is important. To establish and maintain your rhythm concentrate on the foot falls of the horse. It is the riders responsibility to keep the horse’s rhythm. Everything the rider does influences the horse and can either -establish, maintain or distroy the horses rhythm.
- Quality of the movement being performed. This means if you are riding a circle, then it should be a good circle. If you have a crummy circle, it doesn’t matter how wonderful you are riding and how great the horse is moving.
- Quality of your position. If you look good but your horse isn’t moving correctly or performing the circle or riding school movement properly then it doesn’t matter.
Five Tips for Horse Training Success
While riding you as a rider and horse trainer should make sure that the horse is:
Relaxed and willing in its work
In harmony with the rider
When one of these is off kilter the outline of the horse is disturbed and the horse training benefits are lost. If for example the balance is lost, the horse will show its unbalance by tossing its head, quickening its pace, rushing taking faster steps to name a few.
Additional considerations when performing lateral suppling exercises include:
Being accurate – this means starting and finishing a schooling movement at the designated spot. Being accurate is a self disciplined activity. If you accept that the horse will linger and pull you along the track when you want to perform a circle the horse will take the path of least resistance and stay on the track. As a rider and horse trainer you must be clear with your aids and ask the horse to stay on the path and not flop, fall or linger, but be attentive to your aids.
Maintain the rhythm through changes of direction. Often a simple change of rein can lead to a horse that rushes and runs through the change. If your horse rushes through these lateral changes, sit up and remind the horse to steady its pace. The loss of rhythm indicates an evasion, resistance or lack of suppleness with the horse. Continue to develop his suppleness through horse training exercises such as circles, serpentines, turns and lateral movements such as leg yeilds and turns in place.
Keep the horse stepping through into both reins and moving forward from his hindquarters. Going forward is an important part of your training regime and lack of forward energy can lead to other evasions.