We all know that we use our aids to communicate with the horse. Leg and rein aids, our seat, voice, and artificial aids, spurs and a stick. How much and how precise we use them tells our horse what to do when. Any time you are putting your foot into the stirrup irons you will use your aids. When you go on a trail ride, they are simple stay on the path and keep moving forward. They get more and more complicated the higher you are moving up in the levels no matter what your discipline is. So your ability to keep your aids working together in harmony becomes more important and urgent. Besides having the knowledge of which aid does what when, you have to know how to make them chime in together so it makes sense to the horse.
I call that the Symphony of Aids: The right one (instrument) at the right time (timing and feeling) with the right tone (whisper, holler, shout) to ask the right question and then wait for the right answer.
Imagine listening to your favorite band and the lead guitar is a note behind or too high and the base player is out of sync with the rest of them… Yikes that would sound horrible!! How long would you actually listen?
Unfortunately that is how it sounds to your horse when your aids are not synchronized and working together in harmony. Some have to whisper, some have to shout, but all of them have to create a melody in perfect harmony, a song that will want to make your horse dance…
The next time you put your foot into the stirrup iron think about the symphony, you are the conductor, does your horse want to listen or run away from it?