Dressage Horse Training: Coming back from an Extension without Pulling

Hello Everyone,

For many years I’ve wondered how you bring a horse back from a trot extension on the diagonal to the working gait in the corner without pulling back on the reins.  Pulling back on the reins always blocks the shoulders, the horse brings its nose towards their chest and the horse falls on the forehand.  I got to watch a lesson and see that you can accomplish this transition using your lateral/diagonal aids.  The instructor had the student bring the horse into a shoulder in from quarterline to the wall.  By the time the pair reached the corner, the horse’s inside hind was under, rebalanced because of the shoulder in.  This rebalancing happened with a redirection of the energy instead of pulling back and blocking the energy.  By pushing the horse laterally from inside leg to outside rein, the flow of energy continued.  Of course, this horse was well-schooled in shoulder-in and responded to the aids.

I am going to work on this idea with Donzer and Ava on the 20 meter circle.  Playing with this myself, it is cool when the horses listen to my aids, rebalance into the shoulder in and come back to me.  However, Donzer and Ava are not what I would call ‘well-schooled’ in their response to the shoulder-in aid yet.  But, it is in progress!

Good Riding,

Tara, Author, Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding

Out of the Saddle

Out of the Saddle

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