Tailoring Your Aids to Your Horse

Tailoring Your Aids to Your Horse

Tailoring Your Aids to Your Horse

Just like us, all horses are different. They all interact with the world in their unique way. Their reactions and their responses. What would happen if you tailored your interactions with your horse specifically so that your horse can best understand and follow along? If each ‘horse conversation’ was a special one? If you could tailor your aids to your horse?

When you begin to become mindful about tailoring your communication to your horse; your training, partnership, and skills will improve much more quickly

So it makes sense to begin studying your horse – and figuring out what he really listens to in your riding. Especially if you’re noticing that your horse is not focused when working together. Or you’re just not getting the results you want in your riding.

Become Self Aware

The only thing you can control or really change is yourself. And then by controlling or changing yourself, you can have a different influence over your horse. So start with you.  What are you ‘doing’ that your horse is responding to, and what are you ‘doing’ that he is not?

When you pay close attention to what you’re doing – and what your horse is telling you based on that – you can begin to tailor your communication to what your horse responds to. 

The Balance of Aids

So you know that you have a whole host of aids at your disposal when it comes to working with your horse.  You have your natural aids (they are part of you and go with you everywhere you go!). And you have your artificial aids (you can leave these down or behind in the yard).

From here you also have ‘obvious aids’ that anyone can see you use or interact with your horse.  And you have subtle aids, which are either ‘invisible’ or can only be noticed by someone who knows what to look for…

Imagine a pie chart, and each individual aid having a portion of that chart. These portions will differ in size depending on your horse, what you’re asking, the circumstances, etc. One of your responsibilities as a rider is to figure out what is the best proportions of the aids for that exact moment with your horse. This is the ‘balance of aids’. 

Notice What Works

Once you can start to see what your horse responds to, you can start using your aids in different ways that put more emphasis on what your horse currently responds to. In order to truly ‘train’ or ‘develop’ your horse, you need to begin in a place where you can both ‘speak’ to each other. You must really adapt your aids for your horse.

Try actually speaking out loud what is working for your horse. Actually talk to your horse… It helps to bring your awareness to your own actions and helps you hone in on your horses responses. 

By noticing what works, you can then set a foundation. And from that foundation, you can refine things even more.  You may find that your horse doesn’t really respond to your voice aids for example. But is very responsive to your position (whether on the ground or in the saddle).  As you discover more about your horse, you can ‘balance’ or adjust your aids and approach accordingly.

Tailoring Your Aids to Your Horse

So if all horses are different, you’ll often find individual horses who just don’t enjoy being ‘spoken to’ in a certain way.  And rather than forcing a conversation that the horse has no interest in being part of… Learn what that horse does respond to and become ‘good’ at conversing that way.

Your horse is an individual, just like you. And I can bet that when someone takes the time to focus and speak to you in a way you respond to, the conversation flows. Your horse is the same…

Start today by noticing what you’re doing, and if it gets a response or not.  From there, simply notice and tweak as you learn more about you and your horse.

Happy Riding

More Help for Riders:-

Equestrian Fitness Challenge ’24

Work on improving your overall strength, fitness, and stamina as a rider. The all-new and free 2024 Equestrian Fitness Challenge is a great place for you to do this.  It is walking and yoga-based (no workouts), so it will ease you into becoming a better version of yourself in the saddle gently. You can sign up HERE or by visiting https://equestrianfitnesschallenge.com/24 
There will be a daily walk, a 10 minute daily yoga practice, and lots of tips, ideas, exercises, and ways to improve so that you can show up as the best version of you – for you and your horse.
Sign up today and let’s transform your riding – one stride at a time! 100% FREE 2024 Equestrian Fitness Challenge

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