Ahh! Some people like riding lazy horses due to how calm they usually are and some people absolutely love riding hot horses. What is nice about a lazy horse is that they are usually more “tolerant” to mistakes, where as hot horses feel like they will explode any minute with one aid that might feel too much.
Ideally a horse should be something in between; he should go forward when asked once and he shouldn’t feel like he will explode when asked a new “question”. Of course, not every horse will be that way, however, they can be trained to respond better.
A common mistake that amateur riders do when they ride a lazy horse is that they constantly nag the horse with their leg for them to go forward. What happens after using your leg nonstop is that the horse starts to completely ignore that aid. How can you change that? You need to start from scratch and correct your horse. It’s always the best to work with a trainer if you have the opportunity, but if not you could try these by yourself:
-After letting your horse walk around the arena on a loose rein a few rounds, start doing some walk-halt transitions.
-Every time you ask your horse to halt make sure he stands square, once he does, give a bit of release with your reins to tell him that that was the right answer.
Remember: Horses learn when you release the pressure, because the release is their award for giving the correct answer to you.
- Now comes the important part, from halt you ask your horse to go forward by closing your legs, horse ignores your aid. You then tap the dressage whip behind your leg to reinforce your aid. If your horse moves forward you stop asking for more with your leg.
Horses are fast learners so doing this exercise consistently whenever you ride will definitely improve his sensitivity to your aids.