In our last riding post, we had talked about how to get the horse on the bit. Today we will go one step further and talk about how to get your horse in a working frame.
Generally, when your horse is in the working frame the highest point will be his poll. How do we achieve this? After we have established relaxed and forward movement of our horse, it’s time to ask a bit more of our horse. It is important to remember to never achieve this frame by using too much hand, because that will not be a true working frame. A true working frame is a result of the horse working correctly from behind and into our hands. You ask your horse to create energy with your legs and seat. When you ask for more energy you then need to catch that energy with your hands - meaning... you guessed it, half halts!- This is essentially a feeling you develop over time. It takes a lot of trial and error. Some horses might need more or less leg/hand.
It is so very important to be mindful of our hands; meaning not using them too much to force the horse into the frame. Always remind yourself to ride from the back to the front: generate energy with your legs and seat and then catch that energy with your half halts.
Having fun with whatever work we do with our horses is the most important thing. You might not reach the working frame you want today, but what matters is learning from the journey to reach the final goal, and making it fun for yourself and your horse!