These are the 6 go to building blocks of working with and training your horse but they also apply to you as a rider
For the horse:
Relaxation (I like to pop this in before the official as a horse cannot work correctly if tense)
For the rider:
2. Body awareness
Becoming aware of these stages means that we have a structure to work from, and making sure we have achieved each stage before we move onto the next is key to not missing out vital processes of training.
But the key also is to make sure we’ve achieved our stage just before we require the horse to achieve theirs, if we require the horse to relax we need to come from our own place of relaxation.
When working on the rythmn of the horse we need to make sure we’re aware of our own body and not causing the rythmn to be interrupted or rushed, feeling the horses rythmn through our own body also allows us to maintain it
The next stage for the horses is suppleness and so through the rider suppleness is key, if we are tight or tense we will immediately block and restrict the horses way of movement this will impede its ability to be supple and soft.
Straightness for the rider comes in as we take more contact, an unevenness of balance will cause an uneven contact which ultimately causes an uneven way if moving
These are the initial scales and you can see how it’s vital to not only think about the horses scales.
As you move to the higher scales it’s more the rider needs to have achieved all their scales before true impulsion, straightness and collection can be developed.
If we skip scales and just want to work on collection for example we will get what I call a false example of the collection where the horse is unable to fully achieve what is being asked, causing the movements become trick like motions rather than actual fully embodied movements.