After you’ve mastered the basic, fundamental skills of horse riding, you will be ready to move on to the next step. Intermediate horse riding lessons will build from the foundation you have put down and help you move towards more advanced techniques.
What Will I Learn In My Intermediate Horse Riding Lessons?
If you’re considering intermediate riding lessons, you should have already mastered basic riding skills and feel secure and confident in the saddle as well as your basic handling of a horse.
- Further development of your seat and hands:When you learned your basic, beginner riding skills you may have been taught simple stop and steering aids that allowed you to get the job done without feeling overwhelmed. When you begin your intermediate riding lessons, you’ll be taught the more advanced way of stopping and steering: you’ll use something called a “half-halt” to stop and slow the horse, while you’ll use your seat and legs to steer. You will also continue to improve your seat and center of balance to prepare for more advanced movements.Furthermore, you’ll be taught to coordinate your aids both in upward and downward transitions. When you first started riding, you had to release the reins before putting your legs on; your intermediate riding lessons will teach you how to use aids together, a skill required as you move up the levels.
- Transitions within the gait:If you’re past the beginner level of riding and know how to give aids for the walk, trot, and canter, you should also feel comfortable and balanced at each gait. The next step is to learn how to do transitions within the gait. It doesn’t matter what level of horse you’re riding, transitions within the gait is a great exercise for getting your horse supple, responsive, and swinging over the back.Transitions within the gait are also good for the rider; you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your half-halt. Also, you’ll learn to feel the difference between the working, lengthened, and or medium gaits.
- Circles & Other Figures:Once you can steer your horse, the next step is learning how to ride a proper 20 meter circle, serpentine, and figure-eight. These figures are not only beneficial for the training of the horse, but they also offer an invaluable opportunity to perfect your steering aids, which will be useful in the future when you are completing a show-jumping course or a dressage program, for example.These figures can be considered the foundation for advanced riding skills and, if you continue with your riding endeavors, you’ll find that the figures pop up in more complex forms. Intermediate riding lessons may also start to incorporate basic movements that will be required in lower-level dressage tests.
- The training scale and “on the bit”: With intermediate riding lessons, you’ll be introduced to concepts like the training pyramid that are considered the fundamental training process for horses. Once you’ve mastered skills like a half-halt, coordinating your aids, and having a completely independent seat, you may also be taught how to put your horse “on the bit” or “in a frame” to increase your horse’s use of its hind-end. The latter will help you have better control of your horse and will assist for more complicated maneuvers later on.
Intermediate riding lessons offer riders a way to further advance their riding and prepare for more advanced riding skills.
Learn more about gait transitions by watching this video: