Make the most of your schooling sessions - TRY OUT these 10 simple tips!
1. Always have a clear plan in mind for your schooling sessions. It's very easy to just ride around with no real aim but neither you nor your horse will benefit.
2. Ensure you use plenty of changes of rein and exercises in your schooling as it's important your horse becomes supple, co-ordinated and balanced through his schooling.
3. Use the ideas we regularly include in our Riding - flat work and exercises sections if you find it difficult to come up with new ideas all the time.
4. Aim to include lots of transitions - if you just concentrate on getting your transitions as good as they can be, you'll have made progress.
5. In respect of transitions, always ensure your horse is in a round outline before you ask for the transition.
6. Be precise with how you ask for upward and downward transitions and be demanding - if necessary practise until you get them spot on.
7. Make sure your horse is responsive to the lightest of your aids - if he tends to be rather 'dead' to the leg use your schooling whip to back up your leg aids. Work on improving his responses before moving on.
8. Always be aware of your position and how it may be affecting your horse - for instance, do you have an even contact in both reins? Are you sitting straight? Do you have a straight line from your elbow to hand to the bit?
9. Be aware of your horse's reactions - most have a stiffer side and you should ensure you work on this in order to even up your horse.
10. Even if you're never going to compete in dressage, improving your horse's way of going on the flat will make it easier for him to cope with show jumping courses and be a much better ride out hacking.
For more schooling tips and exercises helping you and your horse click here