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Improving the Consistency and Correctness of Your Aids with Wendy Christoff

As riders, we can never be too vigilant about the way we communicate to our horses. Endless repetition of the same mistake will only reinforce the problem. Improvement will come only through identifying the root of the problem and correcting the aids. Horses do learn from repetition, but being consistent doesn't mean grinding - the constant repetition of a movement. Practicing a movement correctly creates a learned response in both the rider and the horse. Starting Slow An exercise I use often with my students is to have them start working on an exercise they find difficult in the walk, and then introduce the gait that the movement is to be performed in only after achieving the correct positioning for the movement in walk. When riders school the trot half-pass, for example, one often sees too much focus on going sideways, rather than forward. Riders tend to tip forward, pull…

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