An Exercise to Help You Improve ALL of Your Downward Transitions
For many riders, downward transitions happen in a bit of a blur... They try their best to prepare for them, give the aid, and then hope for the best as they wait to see how their horse will respond. Once the transition is completed, they are usually able to look back and see if it went well or not. But while their horse is actually changing gaits - as those couple of strides are actually happening, there is very little communication, feel, or awareness of what their own body is doing, or exactly what the horse is doing underneath them in that moment.
Does this sound like YOU? If it does, don't feel bad. This is really common! And the problem with this scenario is that it very often produces a downward transition that is inadequate in some way - most commonly with the horse being somewhat resistant or heavy on the forehand. And not only does that lower your score if you happen to be in the Dressage ring, but it also diminishes all of the positive effects that can come out of a well ridden and executed downward transition. (Increased hind leg engagement, longitudinal suppleness, and overall carriage)
This exercise, suitable for all levels of horses and riders, will help to show you how to stay in a state of increased feeling and awareness, allowing you to be able to use subtle yet precise communication as needed in every single step of that downward transition. It will turn you into a rider who is able to ride EFFECTIVE downward transitions - which is what is required to give you the best possible result.