Dressage Training – Transitions for Lightness

Dressage Training - Lighter Transitions & the Half Halt

Horse Training for the Dressage Horse and developing transitions for lightness in ridden work.

Transition work is one of the best ways to develop lightness in your horses paces.

Especially in dressage training were when using transitions 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 transition work in your dressage training.

For example:

  • 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.

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Transitions for Lightness & Using Your Weight :

You can also use your weight to influence your horses balance as your horse will always try to step under your weight.

  • weight to the left = horse to the left
  • weight to the right = horse to the right.

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Transitions for Lightness & Using The Half-Halt :

Once as a rider you are able to influence your horse, you should begin to understand the half-halt in its most basic form.

You the rider, simply take a stronger contact for one or two steps whilst maintaining impulsion.

The half-halt becomes more effective when you can also use your body.

  • You should grow tall, brace your back without stiffening,
  • while at the same time gently restraining with the rein.
  • As soon as your horse reacts, soften the rein and allow him to move forward again.

The half halt can be carried out in all 3 paces. Although it is essential that the pace in which you apply it has sufficient energy for it to be effective.

The half-halt is an essential dressage training tool to help you achieve lightness, particularly when using transitions for lightness.