Are you boring your horse with endless flatwork schooling sessions? When you school him, keep training sessions fun by providing variety and giving your horse lots of feedback – ie, talk to him and reward him when he’s done something you’re pleased with.
Nick Gauntlett says
“Use speed to create energy, but remember to slow down again once you have the energy, so that the horse doesn’t rush.”
Check out six of the best tips for fab flatwork!
- Make sure that your riding isn’t hindering your horse’s performance. You owe it to him to be balanced and straight yourself, before you ask him to do the same.
- Be careful not to pull your horse round with the inside rein. Instead, close up the outside aids to turn him.
- Opening – but not pulling on – the inside rein encourages flexion and a better outline.
- If your horse is resistant in any way, get his teeth, back and tack checked for any physical problems, before you continue with your training.
- If your horse swings his quarters in when you canter him, try riding him in a shoulder-fore position.
- Be careful not to over-use the outside rein – this can block the horse and prevent him from offering sufficient inside bend.
Avoid working on the track too much, otherwise the horse will soon learn to use the wall or fence as support.
Horse&Rider reader, Emma Morris says
“I remember the first dressage test I ever did. I had been preparing my horse at home in a fenced arena, but when I went to the show and rode in a grass arena with boards, but no fence, I couldn’t keep my horse in the arena! I learnt a lesson and since then, I always ride away from the track a lot of the time.”