Let’s use some more of that P.O.T - Pyramid of Training - to get your riding to feel more regular with no fiber required! Last topic was about Rhythm – figuring out how counting out loud improves the rhythm of the gait. This time you’re going to focus on just being ‘regular’ or steady as possible for as long as possible. This might be a bit mind numbing but if you try to stay super steady letter to letter around a dressage arena in both directions and all three gaits you will find that you will be making ‘automatic’ corrections to your horse to say ‘stay steady and regular’. If the horse speeds up, you want to slow it down with half halts. If the horse is too slow you ask for more ‘go’ with a leg or seat aid. If you get distracted you will have to laser focus on your horse again letter to letter maintaining a very equal stride. It’s a tough exercise when you realize how many small or big corrections you need to make. You also need to react first when you feel it and then start reacting and fixing the horse’s stride just as it goes out of a regular stride. Then you get even better and anticipate where your horse will become irregular due to a distraction or irregular surface and make advance aids to keep it all smooth and flowing. It’s complex when you focus on just this one topic but so rewarding since your focus is on one task but you respond to it in many ways during the ride. The adjustments you are making with your aids become clear and the horse relaxes and responds and gives you good feedback that your aids are working. When things fall apart in the ride you can ‘fix’ them by doing back to this simple but not easy exercise of focusing on steady regular strides!
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