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Impulse Control

If you are getting lazy gaits, sloppy transitions and unbalanced turns, your horse may be lacking impulsion. Here is how to develop it correctly.

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By: Anne Gage & Lindsay Grice |

The term ‘impulsion’ should not be confused with ‘speed.’ Rather, impulsion creates speed, power and balance. “When a horse lacks impulsion, he will either feel sluggish and unresponsive, or tense and quick,” said Anne Gage, partnership trainer and owner of Confident Horsemanship. “His gaits will be stiff, rough and difficult for the rider to sit to. The horse will carry himself in a poor posture – hollow-backed and heavy on the forehand. He will pull himself forward with his front end, putting strain on his muscles, joints and skeleton. “With impulsion, the horse has a willingness to go forward naturally. The rider feels herself being lifted as the energy flows forward through the horse’s relaxed and swinging back. There is power and energy in the horse’s movement. The front end lifts so the horse feels light in the rider’s hands. “It is a push created from the engagement of the…

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