Richard tells us why….
Tommy and I prefer effective but simple schooling exercises and after being introduced to the game of ‘7s’which works on transitions and getting the horse to listen to the rider, it soon became one of our firm favourites.
The 7’s game - The rules are very simple:
Stage 1 - Count to 7 out loud and each time you get to 7 perform a transition. Start with moving between halt, walk and trot. Then as your horse warms up move on to canter and doing two gait transitions…. halt to trot, trot to halt, and walk to canter and canter to walk.
Stage 2 - Expand exercise to include rein-back. Using all the school perform transitions between rein-back, halt, walk, trot and canter, together with standard schooling shapes of circles, loops, serpentines, figure 8s and demi-vaults you will soon work up to quite a complex schooling session.
Stage 3 - Try to throw in to the mix of the game by adding in sitting and standing trot, rising canter and collected, working and extended (Tommy and I only do this where we can manage it) gait. You will find that this then gives you a huge list of transitions to try.
If you want to make things more fun you could give a friend, even a non-riding one a list of all the possible transitions and get them to shout out one of them randomly every time you get to 7.
Finally at the end of the session, try and count to 7 in your head rather than out loud and then see how your horse responds to the transitions.
Remember it should be fun, so smile, you will be amazed as to how you and your horse will improve each time you have a go at the 7’s game.
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