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Training The Dressage Horse - Transitions for Lightness
Transition work is one of the best ways to develop lightness in your horses paces, especially using transitions where there are only one or two steps down, before stepping up into the higher pace.
Good use of your own body weight and learning to use the half-halt properly will add to the effectiveness of your transition work.
Establish a good working trot then ride a 20 metre circle or half the long side of the arena then step down to walk.
Walk one or two steps then move back up to trot making sure you keep the rein lght as you work the upward transition.
Achieve the same effect for a lighter canter through walk to canter transitions.
To achieve the direct transition, place your horse in the inside position; that is the shoulder very slightly to the inside.
Ensure he is not leaning to the inside and he is off your inside leg, then signal the canter with your outside leg.
If your inside leg is weak or non existent use a long dressage whip to tell your horse what you want from him.
The same can apply to the outisde leg.
NOTE: The half-halt is an essential tool in helping you achieve lightness, particularly when using transitions for lightness.