Training essentials: Trust and balance

August 01, 2016

I read this great article on educating a young horse on Dresuur.nl. I liked it so I translated it to English for anyone interested in a good read on training essentials.

Trust and balance comes first

Most horse owners and riders know that when you want a healthy relationship with your horse, you must begin with building up trust.

Trust

There are many different ways to start with a young or uneducated horse but the best ways are based on winning your horse’s trust. A horse should never feel threatened or vulnerable and neither should he feel as if he has no way out.  It’s important to first establish a relationship of trust before you can take your training to the next level.

 Balance

Another important ingredient for educating your horse is balance. If you can get your horse to move in a balanced manner you can improve his natural movement. If you’re able to ride your horse with a relaxed posture and take your time educating him step by step, you can achieve amazing results with an average moving horse.

 How to develop balance

It’s important to remember that a horse can’t be balanced without a balanced rider. As a rider it is your responsibility to work on your balance. Of course, it starts by ensuring you are physically fit yourself. You can also take a few lessons on a lunge line to improve your independent seat. Before training for balance also make sure your tack fits correctly. A horse can’t move freely when a saddle isn’t sitting on his back properly.

When training, work on your horse’s balance by riding many transitions and circles, both small and bigger ones. Also exercises such as shoulder-fore or leg yielding help to improve a horse’s balance.  

Setting goals

Yes, it’s important to set goals when training, but if reaching your goals becomes the priority it can stop you from listening to your horse. If you’re planning on reaching the next level up in any type of competition, make sure you don’t overtrain one element while forgetting about the basics. If, for example, you are practicing flying changes, make sure you still maintain a quality canter. Take the time to listen to your horse and his responses and adjust your training accordingly if necessary.

Personally I couldn't agree more with the above techniques. What are your top two training essentials when educating a horse? We'd love to hear your feedback! 

Source: Dresuur.nl


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