Often riders don’t understand why their horse won’t go more forward or pick up canter when asked, and the reason is that the rider doesn’t really believe in what they’re asking for, and the horse knows it. If a rider asks for canter but thinks “I don’t really want to,” the horse will read their intentions over their aids. If you want your horse to go forward with positive energy, you must believe this is what you really want.
The following quote from Lt Col A L d’Endrody in his “Give Your Horse a Chance” book elaborates:-
“The mere performance of certain physical actions is not enough in giving signals, as they are only poor and spiritless movements. They have to be enforced by the rider’s will, coupled with his feeling, in order to endow them with live and aiding power.
“The ‘will’ is the rider’s determination to execute his plans. This determination must be firm and resolute, and the signals must clearly reflect this spirit when demanding that a certain task be fulfilled.
“… The rider’s capacity to pass on his ‘will’ and ‘feeing’ to the horse, and accommodate himself to it in using them, is the clue to mastering the art of riding.”
Freelance Horse Riding Instructor and Dressage Trainer for Dressage Lessons and Riding Lessons
in and around Rugby, Warwickshire and the Midlands