Top tips and exercises for creating impulsion

23rd February 2021

Impulsion is the movement of a horse when it is going forward with controlled power. In relation to collection, impulsion helps a horse effectively use the power in its hindquarters.

Impulsion is fundamental to success in all disciplines. In jumping it is responsible for the power created to clear the fence and in Dressage it is effects the quality and the ease of the movements.

Training guide – Aim to create impulsion from behind and here’s how…

  • 1. Pole work

Trotting poles are a great way to add interest and increase energy. For even more expression, raise them on to bricks at alternate ends.

  • 2. Transitions

Work through a variety of short sharp transitions. From walk to trot and back to walk through to canter to trot to canter. This will help to engage your horse’s hind quarters and will increase your horse’s responsiveness to the aids.

  • 3. Ride your corners

As you approach corners, think of riding forward into the corner, asking for more impulsion. If you don’t, your horse will use the corner to slow down and will come out of it lacking even more energy than he went in with. This is really important if you want to pick up extra marks in a dressage test.

  • 4. Play with extension and collection

Whatever pace you are in, keep changing, make your horse lengthen and shorten, go forward for 4/5 strides then shorten again, do the same in every pace.

Top Tip

Keep your horses work varied, include interesting activities such as hacking out and free schooling to keep your horse from becoming bored and complacent with your schooling regime.

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