Those who write down exactly and honestly which aids they use on a horse, often discover that this is quite a lot of signals at once. It is not easy to explain what you do. Menke advocates deleting as many signals as possible. The simpler the better, because if you can already explain it badly to other people what it is you want, how should your horse understand it? She also thinks it is important that riders only correct what goes wrong and do not continue to use aids all the time. As an example she talked about riding a 20 meter circle. There are riders who indicate that they keep more pressure on their outside rein throughout the circle. What do you want to achieve with that? Limit the outside? If you keep holding on, you keep giving an aid. Your horse gets used to the feeling, so it loses its meaning and he no longer reacts to it. At the most it has a blocking effect on the movement. Take that pressure briefly when your horse drops on his outside shoulder and release it when corrected. Then it has and holds a meaning.
For a pleasant ride it is nice if a horse is light on the aids. In other words: you get maximum results with as little as possible. That doesn’t happen overnight and is not the result of a magic spell that some pupils expect from an instructor. It is the result of blood, sweat and tears. Make mileage and get to know each other. A horse must be physically able to give the correct answer and it will take years to get his body there. There is no way to speed this up. It is mainly a matter of commitment, insight and willingness to adjust by the rider. Be critical of yourself and really get started with it. You can make every horse react to your aids, even a lazy one.
I am convinced that the single aid system works better. By doing less, you have more time to feel what’s happening below you. Moreover, it is much clearer for him if you do ask something and you will get a reaction. There is an additional benefit of doing less and that is you don’t get so tired.
· For one response of your horse there should be one aid
· Conflicting aids block each other
· Only correct what you want to change and don’t keep giving aids all of the time