- Horse Training

Scales of coaching defined by high British dressage rider

  • The scales of coaching are the stepping stones we use to coach our horses. They assist us consider the place our horses are of their schooling, and kind the idea of how judges assess dressage exams. Often known as the German coaching scale, the scales of coaching are used internationally.

    What are the scales of coaching?

    The scales of coaching are rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and assortment. Every builds on the others and works collectively to attain development.

    1. Rhythm

    Rhythm is the regularity of the beats in all paces. The regularity is the right sequence of the footfalls and the tempo is the pace of the rhythm.

    2. Suppleness

    Suppleness describes how a horse is transferring by way of resistance and considers pliability, capability to easily alter the carriage (longitudinally) and the place (laterally) with out impairing the circulate of motion and steadiness.

    3. Contact

    Contact is the comfortable, regular connection between the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth. Horses ought to go rhythmically ahead from the rider’s driving aids and search contact with the rider’s hand, going into the contact. The horse seeks the contact, whereas the rider offers the contact.

    4. Impulsion

    Impulsion is balanced vitality and shouldn’t be confused with pace. It’s the transmission of managed, propulsive vitality generated from the hindquarters into the athletic motion of the keen horse. Its final expression may be proven solely by means of the horse’s comfortable and swinging again, and is guided by the light contact with the rider’s hand.

    5. Straightness

    A horse exhibits straightness when its forehand is according to its hindquarters, that’s, when the longitudinal axis is according to the straight or curved observe it’s following. A horse can nonetheless be described as straight when bending – the horse’s forefeet ought to all the time be aligned with the horse’s hind ft on straight and curved traces.

    6. Assortment

    Assortment is the elevated engagement and exercise of the hindlegs, with joints bent and supple, stepping ahead beneath the horse’s stomach. It’s the re-balancing of the horse carrying the overseas weight of the rider and instructing him to hold extra of the mixed weight on his hindquarters somewhat than on his shoulders.

    How you can progress by means of the scales of coaching

    The development although these scales isn’t linear, and it may be irritating making an attempt to work out how all these attributes apply to your explicit horse. On the British Dressage Nationwide Conference, held at Addington Equestrian Centre, British staff medallist Michael Eilberg captivated the viewers together with his clarification of how the scales of coaching work — and generally don’t work — in tandem with one another.

    “There are 4 basic items regarding the primary section of the scales of coaching: rhythm, steadiness, suppleness and leisure,” defined Michael. “These are 4 core qualities that you just by no means need to lose all through any work that you just do together with your horse.”

    Michael laid out 4 poles in a sq. form with open corners, every pole representing considered one of these items.

    “Once I get on my horse I management pace, route and description, and if I can begin to take an affect over these three issues I begin getting near linking these 4 qualities collectively,” he continues, transferring the poles one after the other so that they find yourself touching, in a closed sq. (pictured beneath), demonstrating how rhythm, steadiness, suppleness and leisure all feed into one another.

    Michael Eilberg demonstrates scales of training using poles laid out in a square

    When that is established within the early levels of coaching, Michael explains {that a} rider can begin to work the horse ahead right into a stronger contact, in addition to introducing impulsion. He units up two packing containers exterior the sq. to characterize every of these items, however explains that more often than not, if you begin to carry contact or impulsion into the combination, it’s initially on the expense of one of many 4 unique “pillars”.

    “For instance, I can herald impulsion, however initially solely on the expense of fine rhythm,” he says, inserting one of many packing containers in the course of sq. and rolling away one pole to show this.

    “So when that’s the case, I’ve to take a step again and reintroduce contact or impulsion to a lesser extent, solely as much as the purpose at which one of many 4 pillars breaks away.

    “Finally, a horse ought to be capable of settle for contact and impulsion whereas additionally sustaining rhythm, steadiness, suppleness and leisure, after which it’s the identical course of with straightness and assortment.”

    Including that this can be a course of that takes years, Michael additionally reminds the viewers that after getting all these qualities securely in place and dealing collectively inside your horse’s coaching, it doesn’t all the time keep that approach.

    “As years go by nevertheless, and your horse positive aspects energy, these items do turn out to be an increasing number of set in stone,” he concludes.

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