Did your protocol ever say ‘more impulsion’? It might be difficult to get more impulsion within your horse without rushing him forward.
But you also want to keep the relaxation.
Where do you draw the line and how do you create more impulsion?
A member of my online training asked me that question during a live Q&A and I gave her the following tips.
First of all, more impulsion doesn’t mean you have to ride your horse forward, but that your horse gets a more forward drive.
So it isn’t the intention that you go faster.
You want to get more momentum and a drive forward in the hind legs. You don’t do this by speeding up the pace, but by stimulating the hindquarters.
You also want to avoid tension. Impulsion isn’t about creating more tension within your horse.
If your horse gets tense, his movement will get more forced and that’s not what you want to achieve.
”Create more impulsion by stimulating the hind leg.”
But how can you stimulate the hind leg?
For example, you can bend your horse a bit more around your inside leg before you go to canter. This enables to ride your horse a little more away from the inside.
Always think: I have to ride my horse from my inside leg towards my outside rein.
What I do a lot myself, is getting the inside hind leg to come a bit more underneath me while I’m riding turns. You can achieve this by for example riding shoulder-fore.
Put your horse on a circle and ride a little bit shoulder-fore, where you’re really letting the hind leg work. Then change hands and stimulate the other hind leg by doing the same exercise.
On the circle it’s easier to control your horse, but it gives you the space to improve your impulsion.
In the beginning, you can better ride your circles and turns a bit bigger.
By riding small turns, like changing hands by riding a S, you actually invite your horse to keep trotting small.
However, you want the hind leg to get underneath the mass and build a looser, bigger, and ongoing movement.
Your horse will draw the line himself between stimulating and building tension.
Because whenever you cross the line, your horse will lose his good topline.
Imagine then giving your aid. Your horse will push himself up in the neck and he will get outside his comfort zone.
So make sure that your horse doesn’t go faster, but that he keeps following your hand and that you stimulate the hindquarters during the training.
Of course, your horse needs to respond correctly to your forward aid. If he doesn’t, it also explains that he goes faster to create more impulsion.