Tag Archives: Impulsion


collective#Are your collective marks letting you down?

You may have honed every move in your dressage test, completing the movements in the right place, at the right time but the performance adds up to MORE than just the sum of each movement.

Very few trainers give real emphasis to their pupils’ understanding and focus on the collective marks, thinking that the collectives purely reflect your ability, factors that only improve as your standard of training improves.  My view is that if you pay lip service to this area of your training you will not have a full understanding of the aims of your test and you must WORK to maximise the marks in this section.

The collective marks allow the judge to give an overall score for their perception of how you and your horse performed THROUGHOUT THE TEST.  It is their opinion as to how you as a combination conducted yourselves and the overall impression you left them with as the test progressed.  Classes can be won and lost on collectives as in the event of a tie, the overall winner will be decided on the collective marks.

In this, the fifth post in the series on the subject of The Collective Marks, I will attempt to address how you can gain those invaluable extra points at the bottom of your score sheet.

So far in the series we have looked at … Continue reading THE COLLECTIVE MARKS – IMPULSION


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.