Training principles


Is the line the course designer creates and on which the judge will score you. If your execution is precise, your horse will cover the ground easily, be soft and responsive, and have a wonderful jump that will reflect in your score. Your hand puts the bit perpendicular to the Track, and the rest of the horse should follow on the straight lines and turns.

Is the rhythm, cadence, energy, and speed with which you are executing the test, regardless of which discipline. You need to be in control of the rhythm and length of stride on both straight and bending lines. If the horse takes the rhythm away from you, it will put him in control and pretty soon all will be out of control.

If you have taken care of the first two components, your balance should stay organized and be dynamic with the horse. Think of the horse’s spine as your balancing beam; your spine should stay centered over that.

Straight Line:
This is achieved, controlled, and corrected by using LATERAL AIDS: OPENING REIN on one side and NECK or BEARING REIN on the other. Correctly executed, the bit, the horse’s and rider’s shoulders, and their hips should be perpendicular to the Track, with the spine straight.

Is created and maintained by DIAGONAL AIDS: the inside leg moves the horse onto a supportive outside rein, which should be holding the horse on the track, but not restricting the bend that the inside leg creates.  The INSIDE DIRECT or INDIRECT REIN asks the hose to bend its head and neck in the direction of the circle. If done correctly, the bit, the horse’s shoulders and hips, as well as the rider’s shoulders and hips, should be perpendicular to the Track, with the spine in-between bent.

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