sexta-feira, 8 de junho de 2018

Horses | Rhythm, Speed and Impulsion; That’s all a huge mess

After three weeks talking about the Lusitano horse, today I start a new series of articles, this time more related to the training of horses in general, whatever their race might be. The title says a lot of what this article will be, hope you find it elucidative!

I will start by explaining the easiest of the three concepts: speed. In physics, speed defines the relationship between a certain distance traveled and the time spent in the course, and is therefore measured in meters per second, and has little or nothing to do with the horse’s training.  Entering the world of riding, and leaving the field of Physics, to try to undo the existing confusions we have to talk about rhythm. The rhythm can be compared to the constant touch of the clock. The onomatopoeia "Tic Tac" is the one that best represents, for the riding, this important pillar. Rhythm is the first characteristic that one must try to develop. This is the first phase, the stage where the movements are perfected, stimulating the balanced forward movement, in which the time and the size of each stride must be repeated in the following strides, in the three gaits and in the transitions.
When a horse is in the rhythm, it will respond to the rider's main aids such as hands and legs, but also to a very important, little spoken and sometimes discarded aid which is the rider's seat, waist movement and body weight distribution.
Another distinct phase of training the horse is the impulsion, this is the constant predisposition to advance, calmly and generously, with elastic strides, at the slightest request of the rider. Ideally, the horse must always have the will to walk but must only do it at its rider permission. All this activity must be carried out without pressure, always in a calm and relaxed manner in order to demonstrate quality, nobility, agility and perfection.

The impulsion is revealed when the accumulated energy is allowed to pass waiting for the permission of the rider, being the maximum expression revealed by the gentle sway of the horse's back in the trot and in the gallop. This base uses the horse's loin a lot and for this reason the Lusitano horse has a muscular loin and back. The Lusitanos have a unique impulsion, demonstrated by a moment of suspension on each stride.
These three concepts of the learning and teaching base of a horse are often misunderstood one by the others and the word impulsion is constantly wrongly interpreted. The movements of the horses must be cadenced and marked by a certain rhythm and a marked impulsion. When your trainer asks you for more impulsion, it doesn’t mean he wants the horse to move faster, he wants you to ask him for more energy, more movement but not a faster movement as it would imply a change in the rhythm.  
This week we tried to elucidate some confusions and errors associated with teaching and we will continue with some texts. Please let us know what subjects related to horses you’d like us to write about! Keep following our works!

Written by Pedro Miranda
Translated by Raquel Quaresma