Horsemanship and the horse’s view
Whatever we ask the horse to do, it has significance from the horse’s point of view. Understanding how the horse sees the exercise will help us train sympathetically, and with feel for how and why the horse responds as it does.
When Karina from Interdressage asked me to come up with some new Practical Horsemanship tests, I thought it would be good to include a test with a scale of difficulty, so that competitors can choose the level most suitable for themselves and their horses on any particular task. So, I’ve formulated the elements such that, if a horse has a problem with one particular type of exercise, there will be an easier version to get the ball rolling and help with the training.
However, there are very often misunderstandings about what these elements mean so here I’ve put together a full explanation of each, including why this exercise is significant from the horse’s point of view.
Whether you compete on Interdressage or not, I hope you’ll find some ideas here on ways to build difficulty in incremental steps, which you can then apply in your own exercises.
If there are any elements you’d like me to include – let me know. I’ll be happy to add to the list!