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How the Right Position helps to control the Gaits of the Horse: Conclusion

By Pierre Beaupère, Professional rider and teacher.

N°6 2013 Sept/Oct.
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As a conclusion of the series of articles about “The position”, here are a few more hints to help you ! rnWhen a good position has been acquired and established it is with the subtle play of the muscles of the back and abdomen that we can control the gaits in order to shorten and lengthen the strides. This control is essential before any attempt to increase impulsion or to look for collection.

You have to try to make the downward transitions without relying on the hands. You must look for the lengthening of strides by accumulating the energy BEFORE you ask for it so the extension is a release of this accumulated energy.

Pierre Beaupère
© Nathalie Marissel

The purpose of the transition from walk to halt is to make the horse sensitive to the aids of position and to teach him to react as soon as possible to the aids of back and abdomen before using the hands. It will also teach you to prepare with your position.

To help you, here is a diagram that the German trainer Rick Klaassen explained to me and that I have adapted

The rider’s shoulders should come into play during transitions mainly to avoid the horse falling onto the forehand.
The muscles of the back and abdomen are used as a filter of the horse’s energy and willingness to move forward. This implies that the level of energy remains constant. We can only shorten a gait if the energy and the desire to go forward remains the same. So we should not need to push the horse forward to come back to this basic gait...

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Article publié le 31-10-2013

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