Scales of Training - Rhythm in walk, trot and canter
There are 6 scales of training for your horse
Rhythm is the first
Without rhythm you will not be able to truly achieve the other stages, so it’s important to establish this right from the start with your horse.
You will need to be able to ride a rhythm in each pace.
This is where the horse’s foot fall is in an even beat.
Even now I sometimes count the horses footfall, if I am struggling to achieve this with one of the horses.
In walk there should be four beats.
In trot 2 beats in diagonal pairs with a moment of suspension when all legs are off the ground.
In canter there are 3 beats, with one diagonal pair and a moment of suspension.
The horse should keep the same speed of rhythm and should not speed up or slow down whether in a straight line or circle.
Regular foot falls maintain rhythm
Rhythm should not be confused with Tempo
Tempo is the speed of the foot fall.
A horse may find it hard to maintain his natural rhythm whilst going through periods of growth or if he is very weak.
Just keep working at it during these periods and as they get stronger so their rhythm will re establish.
You should start each training session working on achieving rhythm before moving onto other aspects of training.
As a Rider you should control the rhythm with your seat not your hands.
Your elbows should be elastic and follow the movement of the horse.
You should sit tall with equal weight in your stirrups.