This week the main emphasis in my lessons has been on releasing the aids as soon as Biasini responds. If I push with my ankle I must release that push the instant he moves forward. But if he does not respond I must maintain the aid,keep it on until he gives me the right answer.Then I release! I keep my calves on his sides gently but release the aid from my ankles. The first photo shows my ankle is ‘on’ and giving Biasini a push. The second photo shows the release. My calf is still on his side but the ankle is away from him.
The same thing applies to my rein aids. I ask him to soften with small movements of my wrist and as soon as he softens I must give. The release is the reward for the horse and it is vital that this reward is given immediately so Biasini knows he has done the right thing . The first photo shows me with rein contact you can see the reins are taut but not pulling. In the second photo I have moved arms forward to “give”.You can see the reins now have a slight loop.
Just FYI…I am wearing spurs but you can see they have a blunt end and are not harsh . And that black pouch hanging from the side of my saddle? That has some dried apple treats. I give Biasini one when he has stood nicely for me to mount up. And he gets a second one when we have finished our work.
So what have I learned about the release? Quick! That is how I must respond. As I write this it seems so simple.So straightforward. So why does it take me so much mental focus to execute it? Ah yes…it’s dressage!