Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: France, near Dunkirk
• Horses: 0
I ride bitless but eve when I rode with a bit I always began with 20 minutes walking without caring about the reins, just letting him relax: during winter he often came out of his stall... so I often walked him on foot first, then rode at a calm walk and let him look at everything in the arena, then gently began to ask for some circles and transitions (walk-stop-backwards-walk) still without taking contact with the mouth, waiting for him to suggest we might start working more seriously. Then I do the same exercises (circles and so on) and once I get a relaxed and energetic walk, we trot and try to get the same things, with transitions, maybe 10-15 minutes, then gallop - usually I expect fewer things there and we only have a few circles on each hand - and then I think he's ready to work on the point I wanted to deepen or on something I noticed was strange during the warm-up. I also always try to act first with my seat, back, legs, and the hands come really last thing, and smoothly. We keep a soft contact but as I'm not confident at all in my hands, they are not the privileged aids I use lol.
But I usually ride alone and have no trainer so maybe it isn't "real work"...