IMPULSION IN THE DRESSAGE HORSE

January 24, 2017
Horse Training Online

 

Impulsion in the horse, is controlled power. It is fourth on the “German Training Scale”. It is the desire to go forward but not running with speed but under the control of the rider, at any desired tempo. Impulsion is the amount of activity created to cause more energy and thus expression in the paces.

 

A horse can only “engage” by coming more on his haunches and therefore showing collection, if the first ingredients of the scale are achieved (relaxation, rhythm,contact) before adding impulsion. If we try and ride the horse forward in an attempt to create impulsion but the horse isn’t relaxed, swinging over it’s back and going into a good contact to the riders hand, it will just run quicker with shorter steps and no cadence will be evident. This is not correct impulsion.

 

not engaged compared to engaged…….

IMG_0221

 

trotting-horse

 

A horses paces should become more elastic and expressive with impulsion. Appearing light on his feet, with big open steps. A horse that has good impulsion is in front of the riders leg. It travels freely forward without the rider having to push it to keep it going. It should appear like it is traveling on its own whilst waiting for the riders next command with anticipation and attentiveness.

 

Impulsion is created from the riders leg aids. It is the responsiveness to go when asked. A good rider only asks the horse to go with an almost invisible aid and then sits still allowing the horse to carry him without interfering with his horse and giving conflicting other aids with seat or hand. He will adjust the horses forwardness with the seat and hand aids according to what he is asking for. Like transitions from extended to collected and passage to piaffe etc.

 

In order to get a light horse to the leg, you need to give a single soft aid first. If the response isn’t sufficient then a strong abrupt leg aid needs to follow immediately to enforce the ask. If still an adverse response is given by the horse, the rider must correct with a negative aid like a spur or whip. If consistent and quick in your response you can train the horse to be in front of your leg. But only if you are in balance and not giving restrictive aids by hand and seat at the same time as the leg aid. A horse can only react to one aid at a time. If consecutive aids are given, confusion sets in and will result in either a horse rushing due to tension or shutting down.

 

Once in front of the leg. The rider can influence the impulsion within the paces. Asking for upward transitions that are seamless and even affecting how big or small the passage steps  for example are ridden, governing amount of ground cover and height in the steps. It also trains the quickness of the horses hind legs.This is the control the rider needs to aim for, to achieve correct collection and engagement.

 

There is a very fine line between the horse being alert , in front of the leg and getting “hot” to ride. We want him to react immediately to the ask of forward, but that means we need to be accurate too. Most horses go around Dull to the riders aids. This is because of conflicting messages given to the horse and him becoming turned off to his rider as a result.

 

If the prior ingredients of the German training scale aren’t in place before asking for impulsion, it can result in several issues.

 

    • The horse running and tempo becoming too quick.
    • Irregularity within the pace due to contact issues.
    • Irregularity due to a loss of rhythm.
    • Tension resulting in a tight back and a shortening of steps.

 

All of which cause a lack of cadence. What is our aim in dressage? We want to achieve a harmonious, lovely picture of power and an ease of the movements performed. A happy partnership!!!! The horse should flow from one movement to the next smoothly with a confidence and looseness that makes it look easy.

 

 Thumb-snip-300x171

RECENT POST

Recent Post

Rein handling of the “Green Horse”

Thousands of "Green Horses" have asked me to write this article and I thank them for their wisdom over the...
Read More

HORSE BODY DAMAGE

Horse Body Damage is a silent epidemic that goes un-noticed as Owners carry out their habits, taught via their teachings....
Read More

Financing Dressage Horses

Financing the Dressage Horse in 2020, see some flash marketing schemes to generate income....big income.....from the Bank Accounts of those...
Read More

Horse Law Australia

In 2005, Horseproblems Australia saw the desperate need to commence an arm of the Law in this Country, to cater...
Read More

Tying up the Horse

For the safest system on the Planet and for the only system invented to fix the Violent Pullback Horse, go...
Read More

Timing is everything

Hi Folks, Over the many Years and thousands of Horses, hopefully one gains an ability to read every move of...
Read More

Meadow Hay and Weeds

MEADOW HAY I recently walked into a Stable on my property and saw 150mm thick of pure 'Barley Grass' Seeds...
Read More

HOSING A HORSE DOWN WITH CONTROL & SAFETY

 Horses hate being hosed down. Especially around the head area and for a good reason. Often people squirt water into...
Read More

Scientists and Monty Robert’s Dually Halter

10th December, 2018 The Horse Scientists have have just released a study into the 'Dually Halter', designed and patented by...
Read More