Knowing when to use what?!?


New Member
Aug 13, 2008
I have recently been pondering the answer to this question and wanted advice opinions etc!

I get lessons weekly at an RS so i get to ride different horses all the time obviously the RI is there to give advice and make me think about the best way to ride the horse and improve his/her way of going etc. Now with my RI there she can help me figure out what exercises are best for this horse (eg transitions to wake a horse up etc) but how would i know what to do if i was riding an unknown horse without my RI? Is it just trial and error or practicing or reading up? I think by riding different horses i've learnt how to possibly adapt my riding to different horses but it knowing what to do in a non-lesson schooling situation or even out hacking in a spooky-ish situation etc seems a bit of a misty area!

I'd really just like to improve my knowledge (as well as my riding) and was wondering how you all know what to do!!! is it worth reading a few books (any recommendations are welcome)?


Active Member
Jan 14, 2008

once you have a range of exercises, then you go through trial and error to start with.

after time, you realise what works for what type of horse and achieves what you want to achive, so you go to those first. of course they dont always work, so then you go to your second choice and so on.


New Member
Jun 29, 2008
I think with any new horse you ride, you get a feeling for their way of going and the way they have been trained to respond to aids. From this you then base your response as to how you would ride to get the best from the horse. The more horses you ride, the greater variety of 'tools' you have to adapt to different horses - but the more you ride alone (without overfacing you or horse this is), the more you learn to work it out for yourself and ride the horse on instinct, using whatever of your riding 'tools' you need rather than relying on an RI to supply you with the correct tool for the job if that makes any sense? (not sure why I've ended up with a workman/DIY analysis going on, but works for this purpose!!) =]

As with any horse there will be an element of trial and error though - even with a horse you know this is the case - if it wasn't every person riding their own horse they know would have it going 'perfectly' for it's level...which just isn't the case.

Thats my view on the subject anyway :eek:


New Member
Mar 3, 2009
north east somerset
alot of it comes from experience. you will soon learn how horses work as you are riding lots of different ones!
never get on a horse and think it's gonna be a plod and needs to be kicked to get going and all that, you should always assume the horse is 'on it's toes' and take things slowly and gently with them, such as start with a gentle squeeze to ask them to walk on and all that.

i've known people get on a horse and boot it and the horse has bombed off with them because they assumed the horse would be like theirs, a kick along plod!

Similar threads