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Two Minute Training Tips – Fantastic Way to do Transitions

Got a call the other day from someone looking for riding lessons. The connection was fuzzy so when I wrote down her name, I thought she said "Suzy Fantastic" (first name changed to protect her identity obviously). Can you imagine having that last name? How GREAT is that? Every time she says it – I’m Suzy Fantastic – it just gives you a lift to say it. I started calling myself Danielle Fantastic. I found when I did that I thought about my ride and life differently. After all, Danielle Fantastic doesn’t face the horse that won’t go forward with whining and crying. She’s a superhero. She goes through the aids sequence of increasing and decreasing force. First start repeating in your mind – I’m {insert your name} Fantastic and I’m going to do this the FANTASTIC Way. Fantastics feel great and feel great love and that mindset spills over to their horse. Let’s say you want walk/trot transitions that are crisp and powerful. So, start at the walk, and then ask your normal way to get the horse to trot. Then walk and this time just squeeze both calves and cluck 2 times and say trot. The horse trots off lazily. Then walk and this time give the horse a two calved kick on the sides. Don’t forget to hold onto your bucking strap when the horse jumps forward since Ms. Fantastic is not wearing your cape for flying today. You need to say good boy even if you lost your balance a bit. Go back to the walk and ask for the trot again with a light pressure from the calves. If the horse moves off quick and with power, then yea! Try it a few more times to make sure you just didn’t get lucky. If the horse didn’t move off well now you’re going to tap behind the calf firmly with your whip. If the horse jumps into the trot – great. Now go back and do the transition again with lighter softer whisper aids. If all you do is a session of transitions today that get your horse moving off a light aid as if you barely thought it then you are going to feel FANTASTIC! I like to think of the sequence of aids as Asking, Demanding horse and then Whispering to the horse to get the fantastic and loving responses I want. Let’s recap:

  1. Ask - Start with a light aid and evaluate the response

  2. Demand - Increase the force of the aid only as necessary and evaluate the response

  3. Whisper - Go back and ask with the lighter aid and evaluate the response

Make this transition improvement strategy a short part of your riding strategy each time to get the horse moving and your aids speaking a consistent language. Then you can add on some exercises and other fun things to do. Improving transitions can be done at all three gaits without a lot of fancy equipment and your favorite horse partner. It’s also cool to ‘think’ and your horse responds – just as if you ae a Fantastic superhero!

Want to improve your riding edge and edge in life in general? Then you need 3 things –

  1. A Plan – what WILL I do today with my horse?

  2. A Ride – What DID I do today that worked better with my horse?

  3. A Super star – Who’s the super star in my mind helping me get better?

Stay tuned for next week’s Two-minute Training Tip! If you need help building a training plan you can always comment below or email me at Check out our YouTube channel and for upcoming events. We have a stall avail – get it while it’s hot! ! Like us on Facebook at!

#superhero #cape #ridinghorses #horse #horsetrainng #Fantastic #Transition #revelationfarm

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