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.
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