A Faster or Slower Trot
Let's talk about how to create impulsion with the correct aids.  Relax pressure on the reins a bit and
close your leg.   Now that you've got your horse moving, try speeding him up (adding impulsion)
with the correct aids.  Relax pressure on the reins a bit and close both legs simultaneously.  By
closing your legs, I don't mean you should steadily squeeze.  Instead, pulse with your upper calves
in time with the horse's stride or your post.  Add a driving motion to your legs.  Go halfway around
the ring at the faster trot, and then ask him to return to a slower trot.

To slow down the trot, increase the pressure on the reins while decreasing the pressure from your
legs.  If the horse comes to a stop, you issued your aids too strongly.  Try again.  Trot him out,
establish a faster trot, and this time give the aids more gently.  Slowing him down requires a fine
balance between your legs and hands.
Toby is a Draft Cross -- a cross between a Draft (a large horse bred to pull heavy loads) and
another, smaller breed.  Although of average height, he's big boned and bulky, and his feet are
twice the usual size.  He has a long, full black mane and tail, giving him a playful appearance, and
playful he is.  In the field, he's silly.  He likes to take the halters off other horses with his teeth.  You'll
also find him rubbing his neck on trees a lot.

Especially sweet and docile with people, Toby provides a calm and steady mount.  He proves that
you can't judge a horse's temperament by his size.  He's patient with beginners and won't do
anything crazy, even if you make mistakes.  But like many Draft Crosses, he has a well-deserved
reputation for laziness, which can present a challenge for riders.  Toby can be stubborn and refuse
to go.
Woodland Horse Center
16301 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20905
301-421-9156          fax: 301-421-9049