In the world of English riding, we're lucky to have an organization called the Federation Equestre
Internationale (FEI) -- the International Equestrian Federation.  Headquartered in Switzerland, the
FEI establishes rules and regulations for international equestrian sports, including the Olympic
Games.

FEI also has developed standardized aids.  Theoretically, if you go to Germany or France to ride
English style, the horses will be trained to respond to the same, unadulterated aids.  The use of
standardized aids makes it easier for us all to learn, and certainly for instructors to teach.  These are
my interpretation of the FEI standardized aids.

Aids to the Walk
1.  Sit down.
2.  Sqeeze with your legs.
3.  Push with your back.
4.  Give with your hands.

Aid to Add Impulsion to the Walk
1.  Squeeze with your legs alternately (your left leg as your right hip comes forward, your right leg as
your left hip comes forward).

Aids to the Halt
1.  Sit down.
2.  Set your hands.
3.  Squeeze with your legs.
4.  Push with your back into your hands.

Aids to the Trot
1.  Sit down.
2.  Squeeze with your legs.
3.  Push with your back.
4.  Give with your hands.

Aids to Add Impulsion to the Trot
1.  Pulse (that is, squeeze and release) both legs simultaneously.
2.  Drive with your hips.

Aids to the Canter
1.  Sit down.
2.  Position your inside leg at the girth.
3.  Position your outside leg behind the girth.
4.  Hold the inside rein shorter than the outside rein (but both with equal contact).
5.  Squeeze with your outside leg (you actually squeeze with both legs, but make your outside leg the
active one).
6.  Push with your back.
7.  Give with your hands.

Aids to Bend the Horse
1.  Position your inside leg at the girth (this is your active leg).
2.  Position your outside leg behind the girth.
3.  Sit on your inside seat bone.
4.  Turn your shoulders toward the bend and to the degree of bend.
5.  Create the bend with your inside hand, giving equally with your outside hand.

Aids to Back Up the Horse (from the Halt)
1.  Sit down.
2.  Set your hands.
3.  Squeeze with your legs.
4.  Push with your back into and beyond the hands.
          
STANDARDIZED AIDS
WOODLAND
UNIVERSITY
Woodland Horse Center
16301 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20905
301-421-9156          fax: 301-421-9049
woodland16301@verizon.net