A Trainer’s Tips by Jennifer Weber
Reprint from GVDS Newsletter January 2018
No matter what breed or discipline I am riding, I always like a responsive horse that goes when I say, “Go” and stops when I say, “Stop”. We wouldn’t drive a car that went only after we pushed the gas five times and we wouldn’t want our cars to stop 5 seconds after we pushed the brake. Some horses would need the runaway truck tramps we see on the passes to bring them to a halt, they stop so poorly. We drive cars that go immediately and stop the same, we should expect this from our horses. We need this energy to bring the horse in front of our leg and have the horse properly driving from behind and through their body to the contact.
It is imperative for upper level horses to be in front of the leg and all horses should be moving through the levels with this feeling a focus.
Rhythm, the base of the riding pyramid, is composed of energy and tempo. When you squeeze your horse to move forward, you should feel a surge of this energy and their shoulders should rise. Horse/rider combinations that have more “Go” than “Whoa” are usually those horses that do eventing, jumping, trail riding, or some other discipline requiring them to use an uninhibited forward motion.
Since most rider/horse teams have more “Whoa” than “Go”, I will review my methods for getting an improved response when you apply your leg.