A horse is “on” the rider’s aids when he trustingly accepts them. “Coordination of the aids” means that, by using weight and leg aids, the horse is ridden onto the bit/into the rider’s hand respectively, from behind, so that there is always a constant, elastic connection (contact) between the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth, in halts and in movement. The horse is “framed” between the driving aids on the one hand and the regulating aids on the other. However, that does not mean that the horse is forced into that frame. Rather, it is important that the rider is successful in applying both her forward-lateral and her guarding leg aids (in a way appropriate to the individual horse) in walk, before working up to trot and canter. The rider must also be able to feel how the horse reacts to the weight aids. A well-ridden horse that trusts the rider’s hand will accept the contact of the reins and step forward to this connection. Since the rider supports this process sensitively with her driving aids, the horse continues to move forward willingly. He begins to become increasingly light in the rider’s hand, which means he does not push down against the reins, but rather accepts this boundary of the rider’s retaining aid with an elastic poll and by chewing on the bit.

The Principles of Riding by the German Equestrian Federation (FN) provides a complete instruction course of horse and rider using the German training system—a system that has consistently produced international champions for many decades.

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