Maybe you know what the training scale is – you know those six things in that pyramidy thingy right?!?  Well so many people don’t actually remember it and even if you do remember it you may not really get how to actually use it.

I remember learning the training scale for the first time and thinking – oh you just learn these six things and poof you are at Grand Prix with a horse that is collected.  Ya, hilarious now that I remember that because the training scale is something you use or apply all the time to all of your work and you go back and forth up and down the scale over and over again throughout your whole riding life!  And over time out pops little bits of collection which you can use and develop and strengthen your horse to have improved self carriage and uphill balance.

So WTF does it all mean?  Here is a – hopefully not too boring – video on some dressage theory and how you are going to put it into practice.  Remember the training scale is an overall, global blanket that covers all of your work.  And the first three – Rhythm, Suppleness, Contact – are your building block of all your work ahead of you which must remain in place as you work thru the movements and figures.

Before we even get started there are three prerequisites or simple assumptions that are made about the training scale before it can even start to work its magic to create collection.  1. The horse is in front of the leg, on the aids/bit and through its body to the best of its ability for its age and stage of training.  2. The horse is fairly straight – even 4 yr old horses need to track in a straight line and 3. The horse is mentally quiet and relaxed while maintaining positive energy to work.

Now -on to the boring part!