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LuvMyDressageQH
Mar. 14, 2010, 02:20 PM
I have a 13yo QH gelding and in the past two days have had two incredibly frustrating rides. I'm wondering if anyone else is dealing with a similar situation...

I've had this horse for 5 years now and he has always been very forward, and will speed up if I let him (if I rise at the trot, pat on the neck, etc). So, bad me, I learned to ride with my legs OFF :no:, trying to keep them quietly at the girth so as not to get any unwanted speed. I worked for the first two years on getting him to s l o w d o w n.

Now, we are schooling 1st/ 2nd and looking for more collection, and I need to be able to put my legs on! The problem is that whenever I give a "fluff", "bump", or (God forbid!) a tap with the whip he positively scoots forward and gets himself in a tizzy. The past two days have been a nightmare, between this "normal" stuff, spring thaw, and gusting winds that are threatening to take the roof off our indoor. I am losing confidence very quickly.

Trainer encourages me to "rock the boat", ride through it, and continue on, but I am having a hard time finding a balance between pushing him (and myself) and being patient through his shenanigans.

Anyone know where I'm coming from? :confused:

skykingismybaby1
Mar. 14, 2010, 02:24 PM
but you are getting the right answer from him! if he scoots, bring him back gently and try a softer aid for forward again, but let him know that he answered correctly. Forward but stay with me, forward but stay with me. That is the message you want him to hear

BuddyRoo
Mar. 14, 2010, 02:28 PM
Shoot, this may be the first thread on the dressage forum that I can knowledgeably reply to! Thanks for the opportunity!

I grew up riding Western and by that I mean more roping/penning. We ALWAYS rode with our leg off.

My mare is 1/2 QH, 1/4 Morgan 1/4 Arab. VERY VERY forward.

For her first 15 years under saddle the only time a leg touched her was to bump it up a notch.

And then I went to the dark side.

Well, first I went to the chocolate (H/J) and now I'm doing dressage (the REAL dark side)

She had to learn. She isn't the type to get pissed off, but she did think that we were a bunch of idiots at first and was happy to let us know.

Just take your time and keep a leg on. They DO learn. At first though, you may get a passage or piaffe...just be aware....they're not being naughty, they just are trying to figure out what in heck you want.

Reward the effort.

It does get easier!

lark_b
Mar. 14, 2010, 03:31 PM
If your horse can't handle your leg, they have never really accepted it and (as you've already learned) you can't go far.

I rode a mare for a while with this problem and whose owner rode as you do. We share the same trainer and she started with me, since I am not prone to being overquiet with my leg as the horse's owner is, putting my leg ON. Yes, she ran for a while, but I kept on keeping on and half-halted until the dang thing went through ;). She got to the point where he accepted my leg, and it was then easier for her to accept her owner's leg, and now we can get somewhere. maybe have your trainer ride a few times to get through the initial resistance, and you can watch?

ToN Farm
Mar. 14, 2010, 03:46 PM
I wish I had your problem.

blackhorse6
Mar. 14, 2010, 03:58 PM
curious here.. If you did not put your leg on your horse, how did you get it to bend?

dwblover
Mar. 14, 2010, 04:03 PM
Just start from the ground level. Stand at a quiet halt and hug horsey with both calves. Do not take your legs off or do anything else until horse has accepted legs at halt and is standing quietly. I would then ask for some poll flexion left and right, maintaining the leg contact and the quiet halt.

Then, keeping solid contact with legs, proceed to a walk. If horse speeds away just keep quietly correcting with half halts until he goes in a quiet walk with leg contact. Same with trot and then canter. If he gets out of control at any point, go back to the previous slower gait and add more leg at that gait and wait for acceptance. Then go to faster gait with a little less leg.

It only took me about a week of this little game to get my OTTB to finally accept my leg at all gates. The key to all this with these hotter, sensitive horses is to keep the leg on all the time. I'm NOT talking about nagging and pushing with the leg, as that would drive them crazy. But they do need a "hug" at all times. Always have your calves long and wrapped around the horse's barrel. It gives them security and acceptance of the leg. Then to actually ask for forward motion you only have to take the leg off for a brief moment and put it back on and they respond beautifully.

LuvMyDressageQH
Mar. 14, 2010, 04:15 PM
I should add that I have been with the current trainer for a little over a year and a half now, and she has made it a point to keep me riding with leg ON the whole time. We are working hard to get him moving FORWARD (not faster), hind legs up under him, into the contact (his default coping mechanism is btv/ duck behind contact) and asking him to come "through" more...

Anyway, I've been putting my leg on for over a year and a half, shouldn't he "get it" by now? :lol:

It usually goes like this:
-leg on - he thinks about going a little more forward, flicks an ear back to me
-leg actively squeezing - the tail starts swishing :eek:, passage-y steps
-"fluff"/ "bump" - he scoots ~2 strides
-I bring him back w/ half halt - he props neck/ tries to duck behind contact
-leg on, reminding him to keep going forward

And so on.... even with exercises to try that might keep his focus & get him to move forward to the bit (which is a loose ring plastic mullen mouth). I'm trying shoulder-in, haunches-in, leg-yields, half-pass, trot-halt-trot, walk-canter-walk, stretchy trot, circles of all sizes, riding quarter lines, lengthening & shortening stride...

I just don't get why he's (still!) so upset about my leg being on & active!

LuvMyDressageQH
Mar. 14, 2010, 04:24 PM
curious here.. If you did not put your leg on your horse, how did you get it to bend?

This horse was part of a rent-a-trail-horse string before I got him, and I got a chance to work with him at a summer camp that borrowed 10-12 horses each year for the campers. No one wanted to ride him because he was "too fast" so I ended up on him for the summer. Realizing how great it would be to have a sensitive horse for dressage, I made an offer at the end of summer camp.

The first year or so he got to "be a horse" while I finished college in the south. When I came home and started working with him we were working on things like w-t-c calmly and halt (& stay halted please!) so bend wasn't as much of a priority, it was more getting him to relax and go around quietly.

As we progressed (really slowly) I used my leg for bending aids, to ask for transitions, and that's it. Then my leg reverted back to its quiet place at the girth & didn't bother him. Now I know I need to use my leg for all the aids, but also keep it consistently on, or else I guess he forgets they're there and maybe it scares him ;)

I feel like he would much rather I leave him alone than keep my legs on. Maybe at first it was a confusion thing, like, I'm going forward already, what else do you want? But he's still offended almost every ride...

BuddyRoo
Mar. 14, 2010, 04:25 PM
curious here.. If you did not put your leg on your horse, how did you get it to bend?

Well shoot! We had our seats for that!

In all seriousness though, you could certainly get bend ( I also did barrels where bend is pretty important) but everything was a cue--not a consistent pressure thing.

IE: I want X I put leg on for X. I want Y I put leg on for Y. But as soon as they are doing X or Y, the leg is back off.

twofatponies
Mar. 14, 2010, 04:31 PM
Just a thought, but would it help to think of it differently? Not that he's "offended" (which I realize you may be saying half-jokingly), but that he either:

a) doesn't understand, and is throwing a bunch of answers at you trying to guess

or

b) doesn't want to (ie is resisting) because to really work more off the aids is more effort at first, and hard, and he would rather go the way that seems easier

I'm guessing more the latter, to some degree, esp. since you said he ducks behind the bit, etc. though if you are just starting to introduce the idea and don't do it consistently all the time there may be some of a) involved too.

Not that that means you should be angry or punitive at all. Just that you shouldn't feel sorry for him or be apologetic. If you can be clear and consistent, he should get the hang of it with practice.

Maybe that's a real "duh" comment - no offense meant! ;)

blackhorse6
Mar. 14, 2010, 04:53 PM
This horse was part of a rent-a-trail-horse string before I got him, and I got a chance to work with him at a summer camp that borrowed 10-12 horses each year for the campers. No one wanted to ride him because he was "too fast" so I ended up on him for the summer. Realizing how great it would be to have a sensitive horse for dressage, I made an offer at the end of summer camp.

The first year or so he got to "be a horse" while I finished college in the south. When I came home and started working with him we were working on things like w-t-c calmly and halt (& stay halted please!) so bend wasn't as much of a priority, it was more getting him to relax and go around quietly.

As we progressed (really slowly) I used my leg for bending aids, to ask for transitions, and that's it. Then my leg reverted back to its quiet place at the girth & didn't bother him. Now I know I need to use my leg for all the aids, but also keep it consistently on, or else I guess he forgets they're there and maybe it scares him ;)

I feel like he would much rather I leave him alone than keep my legs on. Maybe at first it was a confusion thing, like, I'm going forward already, what else do you want? But he's still offended almost every ride...

Sounds as if he is very very lucky to have found you;) Good luck:)

LuvMyDressageQH
Mar. 14, 2010, 05:27 PM
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies! He's a really good guy and tries his heart out for me. He obviously hadn't heard of "dressage" before I met him and so I feel very lucky to have found a willing partner who has come this far!

He's not the 16.2 dark bay warmblood I dreamed of as a youngster, in fact he's short (barely qualifies as a horse lol), red with a butt stripe (red dun) and shoulda been a barrel horse. But, since he's short it's not as far to the ground, and he stands out at shows colorwise, and we can finish a 10 meter circle in 3 seconds flat! :cool:

Maybe I will try to save up and see if my trainer would be willing to put in a few rides on him to emphasize the point. Hopefully the work we are doing will help him build up the muscle he needs to be able to do the work more easily and he will finally be able to tolerate my leg (or just get over it, anyway!)

It is reassuring to hear that at least we're headed in the right direction. I just need to be more patient with him. I forget sometimes where we came from, careening around the indoor looking like a giraffe, to where we are now, with a half pass that my trainer says is "actually scorable" - to the right anyway:lol:

buck22
Mar. 14, 2010, 05:44 PM
omg, your title made me laugh my head off out loud!! :lol: I was like "YES I HAVE AN EASILY OFFENDED HORSE!" lol!

Read your posts, and I'll chime in, I *wish* I had your problem :lol::lol:

Anyhow, my take is that your horse is forward in nature and wants to please you. He just sounds confused is all. He's probably quite a smart cookie to boot.

You'll need to help him by doing things in smaller stages, and rewarding frequently. imho, he needs to know *precisely* what you mean. The whip may be too much for him right now, sounds like you don't need much reinforcement from your leg, and he may not "get it" as an instructional aide right now... so with his perhaps focused and too-eager to please mentality, getting ok with the feeling of legs plus a whip that is meant to be instructional, that might be overwhelming for him.

You may want to restrict the use of the whip to in hand work for a while. And if you did, be sure to stroke him with the whip, reassuringly, like praise, so the whip truly is an extension of your hand and can pet him, and calm him, the whip should always be friendly. Scooting away from the whip is lack of confidence, which is lack of understanding generally.



Anyway, I've been putting my leg on for over a year and a half, shouldn't he "get it" by now?
re-examine how you are when you are putting your leg on. Its one thing to have a horse with sensitive sides, but a year and a half later means he's not understanding. Reexamine how you are when you 'put your leg on'. Do you actively 'put your leg on'? If so that conscious decision on your part may be too much for him. He needs to accept a certain amount of "white noise", perhaps when you are 'put your leg on' you are thinking about it a bit more mindfully, and that makes your white noise leg more active than it should be... lol, did that make any sense? :lol:

the second thing to examine is how you react to how he reacts when you put a leg on and he misunderstands. What your trainer said about riding it out is basically true.... if you just let your leg lie, like a wet rag against his side, and he scoots out, you need to ride without reacting, without punishing or trying to "make him understand". Horses like this need to figure some things out for themselves, and that takes a quiet rider that can say "here, I do this, and its no threat, its just the white noise of my leg on your side, don't over think it, just feel and accept it". Like teaching a horse to accept the feeling of a blanket for the first time, or saddle, or polo wraps..... there is the moment of 'my G-d what is this?!?" and the thoughtful handler says "I know its strange, but its no threat, just move freely and feel what its about and see for yourself, it doesn't hurt".

My guess is that your asking your horse to understand several pieces at the same time. For very smart, very sensitive horses, this can be a huge obstacle. Slow down your training, start with smaller pieces. Start by putting your leg "half" on, let him be ok, don't react when he reacts, let him scoot without punishment or reaction, just let him scoot scoot scoot his little hiney all over the place till he realizes the leg on isn't intensifying, its not directing, it just "is" and it doesn't hurt and its not a demand. When he can get "half" a leg, then progress to full soft leg against his side.

He needs to know the difference between a request, and white noise, and he's just an eager beaver in compliance, and is easily offended because he's trying and not pleasing you and confused.

Hope that made some sense :lol:

buck22
Mar. 14, 2010, 05:48 PM
He's not the 16.2 dark bay warmblood I dreamed of as a youngster, in fact he's short (barely qualifies as a horse lol), red with a butt stripe (red dun) and shoulda been a barrel horse.
aw, send him to me! I love duns and my last pony was a red dun, they are so striking :)

horsemansarts
Mar. 14, 2010, 07:32 PM
Hi,
It sounds like you have got a lot of stuff going right for you. :-) I have a chestnut mare who who has taught me a lot about getting along with the easily offended. In my experience, the change needs to come from the rider. I'm not there so all of this is speculation. But I suspect that the problem isn't about how he feels about your legs per se. Rather, I would say it is likely that the problem is a lack of fluidity and movement in your seat and shoulders. He feels your leg 'ask' for something and then the rest of your body blocks it from happening. Again, I'm not there but I see this time and time again in my teaching. So, it is I suspect a good bet. :-)

I like to say that softness doesn't come from open fingers or legs off. It comes from mobility and a 'going with' the horse. Rider A can be very light with little contact and no leg but be stiff and so the horse seems offended. Whereas Rider B can have a very 'close' shall we say even 'firm' contact BUT be SO mobile, so with the horse's movement, that the horse is not only OK with it but in fact thrives under the direction.

This is how a teacher can perceive that you need to have leg 'on' or more 'contact' and how the student who does not understand what that means (see above) can perceive a horse who is offended by same. Teacher will likely get on and have no 'trouble'. :-P However, the student will continue to have offense if she doesn't not change her presentation.

When working with students on this sort of thing I find I need to encourage them to move a LOT more than than they feel comfortable with... 'waggle' shoulders and allow seat to be mobile. They think they look foolish, but I say, ask the horse. The more mobile they are the happier and more freely the horse moves. As you become accustomed to letting yourself move you will find a synchronization and any outside observer will see only perfect harmony. :-)

Best of luck to you on your journey!

EqTrainer
Mar. 14, 2010, 07:36 PM
There are a few different possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is, what do you tell him when he scoots off?

If you don't say NO he has no idea that it's not what you want.

The second is that you are not controlling his front end and so he just runs thru you from the leg aid.

There are more, those are the first two that pop into my head after reading your post.

twofatponies
Mar. 14, 2010, 07:50 PM
omg, your title made me laugh my head off out loud!! :lol: I was like "YES I HAVE AN EASILY OFFENDED HORSE!" lol!

Read your posts, and I'll chime in, I *wish* I had your problem :lol::lol:

Anyhow, my take is that your horse is forward in nature and wants to please you. He just sounds confused is all. He's probably quite a smart cookie to boot.

You'll need to help him by doing things in smaller stages, and rewarding frequently. imho, he needs to know *precisely* what you mean. The whip may be too much for him right now, sounds like you don't need much reinforcement from your leg, and he may not "get it" as an instructional aide right now... so with his perhaps focused and too-eager to please mentality, getting ok with the feeling of legs plus a whip that is meant to be instructional, that might be overwhelming for him.

You may want to restrict the use of the whip to in hand work for a while. And if you did, be sure to stroke him with the whip, reassuringly, like praise, so the whip truly is an extension of your hand and can pet him, and calm him, the whip should always be friendly. Scooting away from the whip is lack of confidence, which is lack of understanding generally.


re-examine how you are when you are putting your leg on. Its one thing to have a horse with sensitive sides, but a year and a half later means he's not understanding. Reexamine how you are when you 'put your leg on'. Do you actively 'put your leg on'? If so that conscious decision on your part may be too much for him. He needs to accept a certain amount of "white noise", perhaps when you are 'put your leg on' you are thinking about it a bit more mindfully, and that makes your white noise leg more active than it should be... lol, did that make any sense? :lol:

the second thing to examine is how you react to how he reacts when you put a leg on and he misunderstands. What your trainer said about riding it out is basically true.... if you just let your leg lie, like a wet rag against his side, and he scoots out, you need to ride without reacting, without punishing or trying to "make him understand". Horses like this need to figure some things out for themselves, and that takes a quiet rider that can say "here, I do this, and its no threat, its just the white noise of my leg on your side, don't over think it, just feel and accept it". Like teaching a horse to accept the feeling of a blanket for the first time, or saddle, or polo wraps..... there is the moment of 'my G-d what is this?!?" and the thoughtful handler says "I know its strange, but its no threat, just move freely and feel what its about and see for yourself, it doesn't hurt".

My guess is that your asking your horse to understand several pieces at the same time. For very smart, very sensitive horses, this can be a huge obstacle. Slow down your training, start with smaller pieces. Start by putting your leg "half" on, let him be ok, don't react when he reacts, let him scoot without punishment or reaction, just let him scoot scoot scoot his little hiney all over the place till he realizes the leg on isn't intensifying, its not directing, it just "is" and it doesn't hurt and its not a demand. When he can get "half" a leg, then progress to full soft leg against his side.

He needs to know the difference between a request, and white noise, and he's just an eager beaver in compliance, and is easily offended because he's trying and not pleasing you and confused.

Hope that made some sense :lol:

I like this explanation .

Coppers mom
Mar. 14, 2010, 08:06 PM
Very good suggestions, I especially agree with letting your leg just lie on his side.

One thing that helped me when I was riding an ultra-forward horse was to just sit on top of him, and ignore what was going on beneath me. For example, if he wanted to speed up at the trot, fine, I'd just keep posting at the same tempo that I wanted to go at. If we were trotting and he kept trying to break into the canter, fine, I'd just keep posting. Even if he did flounder around for a second, he'd settle down and match what I was doing much more quickly than if I tried to deal with the overreaction to my leg. Horses are surprisingly matchy matchy in this way, so if you just sit on top and ride the way you want, then he'll settle down and stay with you.

lstevenson
Mar. 14, 2010, 08:33 PM
It usually goes like this:
-leg on - he thinks about going a little more forward, flicks an ear back to me
-leg actively squeezing - the tail starts swishing :eek:, passage-y steps
-"fluff"/ "bump" - he scoots ~2 strides
-I bring him back w/ half halt - he props neck/ tries to duck behind contact
-leg on, reminding him to keep going forward


I think many hot horses train their riders to keep their legs off. And as you are finding out, you can not progress unless your horse accepts your leg. You're on the right track w/ the lateral work. I use basic lateral work to teach the hot horse acceptance and understanding of the leg.

And it's hard to say w/o seeing it, but this part of your explanation makes me think that your horse feels like he's being blocked from going foward when you ask him, hence what sounds like an initial hesitation about responding to your leg aid, and the scoot when you back it up with a stronger aid. So just double check to make sure that you always have a soft elastic connection with the bit. And that you do not make the common mistakes of turning your hands inwards or downwards. Both of which can block the horse and "jam him up" in the back, creating tension that can cause the scooting forward that you described.

slp2
Mar. 14, 2010, 10:07 PM
I have a youngster (3 going on 4) that is very responsive to the leg. One of the things that we have started lately, that has really helped her, is baby lateral work. I think what training she had when she was started (by a previous owner) was that the "leg" meant forward or transition to another gait. Now we started teaching her that sometimes, "leg" means sideways, or "bend" or "bigger stride". It has slowed down her reaction time because she needs to think when she responds (gee, is my rider asking for forward now, or sideways, or bend?) We started with some nose to the wall leg-yields at the walk and then progressed to the trot. She caught on to it quickly. Now, I regularly ask her to move her body around during the warm up phase (meaning, I ask for some leg yielding (from quarter line to the wall, nose to wall, or tail to wall) or a little shoulder fore. It's helped her become more tolerant of my leg because she realizes that it doesn't mean I want a faster tempo or for her to transition to the next gait. It's been very helpful for us!

Equa
Mar. 14, 2010, 10:17 PM
With horses like this it can be helpful to consider where your lower leg is. Be careful it does not come too far back. Think about draping your legs around your horse so that they are at the girth - not behind it. And be careful not to squeeze with your knees when you put your leg more "on". If you always ask for bend and flexion before asking for more forward, you have already created a "gearbox" for yourself, and a way for your horse to become more engaged instead of taking off into the wild blue yonder.

Hampton Bay
Mar. 14, 2010, 10:28 PM
I have your horse's larger and older sister, only in plain chestnut with chrome.

It's amazing how they can teach you to keep your leg off. They were never taught how to properly respond to the leg, or that the leg can be touching and asking for different things, so they thing leg=fast, and then they get confused when that's not what you want. In the case of my nutty mare, she gets confused and mentally goes on vacation.

What has helped the most with her is to work on these kinds of things at the halt. She anticipates my leg horribly, so we do work on moving the legs around but NOT touching her, and she stands still. If she scoots, I make that "ahhhh" noise that tells them no, but I keep swinging my legs back and forth. Eventually she will stand still, then I reward, and squeeze with both legs to walk on on a loose rein. Repeat about 50 trillion times, only mix it up and sometimes ask for a ToF. If he spins and dances forwards and tosses his head, keep asking for halt, but DON'T remove your leg!!

Once he can do that, then move up to the walk. Only accept a calm response to the leg, or the leg stays on. When the response is calm, you reward and lighten the leg.

You have to retrain them to respond CALMLY to the leg, and you will probably have to refresh this often.

Equa
Mar. 14, 2010, 10:28 PM
I am not convinced about the "leg off" principle. I like to have my leg just there...having it off, like dropping the contact totally, can result in hair-trigger reactions from some horses - which is what you want in Western, but not in dressage. I certainly don't condone "push push push hold hold hold"! But where do you put your leg if it is not draped around the horse? Pinched knee and held outwards?

dwblover
Mar. 14, 2010, 11:11 PM
After reading your second description of what is going on with your horse, I have another suggestion. Go back and read my previous post but instead do those exercises with little to no contact on the reins. I think your horse is getting confused by the leg coming with too much hand. Start at the halt with the acceptance of the leg and use no contact at all. Reward like crazy when he stands still and allows the leg contact. (Remember to "hug", not squeeze).

Then continue on to the walk, keep leg contact and keep the reins on the buckle. If he speeds up, halt, keep the leg contact, and walk again on the buckle until he walks steadily. Then proceed to trot and keep leg on and hands at buckle. He'll rush, so halt him, then walk on buckle, then trot again. Keep it up and he'll figure out what you want.

I had the same problem with my OTTB, you are using too much hand right now. (Ask me how I know:D). He needs to accept the leg first without contact. Once he is a pro about the legs only, you add the contact back in incrementally until you have the balance of legs and hands that you are looking for now.

Cheese183
Mar. 15, 2010, 04:59 AM
It took my barrel horse a year to accept leg. So yes it can take awhile. Ditch the whip for now. If need be start at the walk. Do a circle small enough that the horse is comfortable with and in balance for that gait keeping leg on. If youe horse is comfortable with the leg than leg yield out. It makes the horse step up under themselves and is harder to rush off. Repeat for the other side. If your horse gets jiggy on just the circle sit deep exhale and half halt. You may have to half halt many times just stay relaxed. The horse may take awhile but will relax when you do.If your horse gets jiggy with the leg yield keep doing it. It is hard work. Sooner or later the horse will decide it is to much work and stop jigging. Again this may take a bit.

Valentina_32926
Mar. 15, 2010, 12:10 PM
When you put your leg on and he scoots forward do a HH and make sure NO MATTER WHAT you do NOT change you're posting rythmn. Horse WILL slow down to match your rythmn.

I'm also guessing you haven't put your leg on to halt? Start doing that also - halts will be square (legs then rein as he's halting stop leg action keeping rein action = halt) and his butt will come underneath itself.

EqTrainer
Mar. 15, 2010, 04:33 PM
Absolutely not.

Leg off = passive. The leg is in correct position, relaxed.

When you do the canter half-passe across the arena, the leg is still slightly back behind the girth, but if the horse has responded to the half-passe and is in correct flexion and position and direction, the outside leg just stays passive. But, it's not pressing. Pressing = asking. Passive = reward.

The properly trained horse keeps doing what the leg asked, even once the leg becomes passive. Then, straightness is asked for once, achieved, and human's legs become passive again until the next conversation needs to take place.

It's very precisional riding. Watch the Olympic riders very carefully on their videos. Their leg is in proper position, but not necessarily pressing, because the horse has responded correctly to the aid. The leg only presses for an instant for a minor correction here or there and to effectively ask for the next aid.

The young horse needs much more support. They require more activity from the legs until they learn the aids and develop greater understanding. At the same time, the rider must be a thinking rider and be ready to show reward (passive, lightly resting at the horse's side) the instant the horse responds to the aid. As the horse progresses up the levels, I guarantee you, an elite Grand Prix horse will become extraordinarily annoyed at constantly being asked for something he has already responded to because by the time they get to that level, they know exactly what you're talking about the very instant you've asked for it. They received the aid, responded to it instantly, and now they wonder why in the world you are still pressing them about it. So, once you and your horse get to the Grand Prix, you'll have very definitely learned about getting your leg off, aka going passive. Going passive is just as important as going active, aka giving light pressure for an aid.

:yes: nice explanation of what it takes to stop being confusing to the horse as you move up the levels.