Transitions are the key to …
- building the hind end muscles
- developing better balance
- maintaining rhythm
- teaching horses to be ‘hot off the leg’
- paradoxically – relaxing the horse
- getting the horse supple
- maintaining suppleness in your horse
- aiding obedience
- teaching collection
- teaching extension
- ensuring lightness
- winning marks in your test
- developing harmony
- helping the development of the ‘top line’ muscles
- engaging the hind quarters
- executing a square halt
- keeping your horse attentive
- developing accuracy
and much, much more!
What to do? …
Put much effort into your transitions, do them well, do lots of them. Remember you must have forward impulsion in your upward transitions and you must use your seat and legs in the downward transitions.
QUICK TIP: A good way to practice transitions is to count the number of strides you do at each pace before the change, so do 8 x walk and then 8 x trot. You will know the exact moment you want the transition and can be very precise with your aids, but more importantly you can assess your horse’s reaction. This exercise can also aid your accuracy. Give it a go.
Concentrate on maintaining your position, contact and rhythm through the transition. The thing about it is … keep everything the same, don’t do too much. Really try to just maintain your position and get out of your horse’s way whilst he makes the transition.
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster