Category Archives: Basic Paces


1 building blocksCreating a happy horse is helped by making sure that you build the work gradually, both the quantity and the difficulty. Do not ‘over face’ your horse – you will not be rewarded.

You would not put up a huge jump for an inexperienced youngster, so why ask an inexperienced youngster to do advanced work that his body is not ready for?


This is particularly true for maintaining impulsion in the trot. It takes months for the horse to build the muscles and stamina to maintain a good level of impulsion. Be patient.

If you do not do sit-ups regularly, get down on the floor and see how many you can do today. Do the same tomorrow and the day after, they’ll be getting harder! Think of your horses development in the same light, it will get easier but it will take months for you to build up to 50 / 100 per day.

Think of each sit-up as the equivalent to your horses trot steps using impulsion. Start with 5-10 steps and build up very slowly until your horse is fit enough to easily execute this very, very demanding work.

Listen to your horse, if he cannot maintain the work, he could be tired, or have aching muscles. Let him rest and try again next time.

CANTER – A few tips from Nuno Oliveira (selected quotes)


CANTER – A few tips from Nuno Oliveira

(selected quotes)1 canter

• Breathe deeply and calmly in the canter. Expand your rib cage
• The upper body should not move back and forth in the canter. Instead, the lumbar back should become supple
• Don’t be content with just any canter depart. Improving the canter depart will improve the quality of the canter
• The less the rider moves, the better cadenced the horse is in the canter
• Maintain the seat in the canter – That’s all

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster

Forward – Don’t Be Afraid

Until I embarked on this journey I had a bit of a phobia of being out of control of a horse.  Don’t we all?

ForwardSo ensuring my young horse is forward thinking has taken some guts, even though I say so myself! It all felt fast and furious and she kept popping into canter. For me that short striding, slow gait I had been used to seemed much more in control.

But a short striding, stuffy horse is not what I want. So I plucked up the courage to send her forward and allow her to go what felt to me like “too fast”. If she cantered I allowed her to do this and then within half a circle, half halt and back to trot.

For a while she did a funny half trot, half canter – The Tranter! which unfortunately isn’t actually a pace, which is a shame because she was very good at it and I think we may have got a 9 in the arena.


Dressage TestShe was never “out of control” – just happy to go forward, which is great.

I was missing out for so many years and what’s more it’s not scary any more – feeling that power is awesome!

Have fun!

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster

This post was sponsored by: Sponsors