Let’s talk: The Training Scale

Hello there, long time no see.
I’m finally on vacation from work, so I can finally focus a little more on the blog.

Today I bring you a very important topic when training a horse, specially a young one. Where to start and the supposed tracks you should take until you get to the ”finish line”, but of course there’s actually no finish line, because horse training is a on-going adventure, it never ends.

Me riding Gabi for the 2nd time ever, only focusing on keeping him in front of my leg.

Usually if you type ”equestrian training scale” on google you get these pyramid type draws, where the base of the pyramid is where you start, and the top is your final destination.
This is not only for dressage guys, every horse needs to have a solid ground foundation to be able to jump with the right balance and form, for example.

I was looking around and I found a different type of draw, that I actually find much more intuitive to understand:

Let’s start analyzing it!
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Rhythm, it’s the first thing you should focus on. You should let your horse have a nice steady pace, Feel all three paces balanced, not in the verge of either breaking the pace (for example, when your gallop doesn’t have rhythm enough it’s usual for the horse to break into trot).

Suppleness, you should let the horse stretch through his neck, back and down into the bit. This will make you improve his muscle in the right areas, creating that nice top-line.

Contact, when the first two steps are introduced and understood you can then ask for contact, and this will help with the horses capability of self carriage.

Impulse, this is the amount of push off your horse gets from the ground, don’t confuse that with velocity though. Think about those nice dressage canters very uphill. They don’t go fast, but they cover a lot of ground, they have a lot of energy.

Straightness, the way the horse carries his legs, body and neck. It should be equal on both sides of the spine ( I actually struggle a bit with Capi in this step as he usually gets a bit crooked in the neck when I get tense for some reason).

And last, but not least:

Collection, ah, collection, everyone wants it. But collection is not having the horse over bent in the neck,oh no no. Collection is when the horse is ”sitting” in his hind leg’s and really has the impulse in his back to sustain a certain movement, it makes the front leg’s more ”free” to perform certain movements, for example piaffe.

Hope this was useful guys if you have any questions just hit the comment bar down bellow!

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