Monday, 21 May 2012

Getting in the Rhythm

I've been working on the 'Scales of Training' section of our Ridden Horse Behaviour Wiki, and pondering over the first two elements of the scale: rhythm and relaxation. Now, I think most of us would agree that without relaxation, trying to work on any other training aspect is futile. Yet, the German Scales of Training normally quote rhythm as the first element. Is this because there are two schools of thought? I don't think so. I think it is more with the translation of the terms. We tend to think of relaxation as referring to mental relaxation, but the German term 'Losgelassenheit' encompasses the physical aspect as well, and includes looseness and suppleness . Maybe we should think of mental suppleness rather than relaxation?

So which do we think is the most important thing to establish first in a young horse's training? Read a bit more about it here and / or take our simple poll to compare your opinion with that of others!

If you can't activate the poll below, it's also available  here: Rhythm or Relaxation poll


  1. A horse can be perfectly rhythmical but carry tension - the German word for relaxation as I understand it has no direct translation. The Scales of Training are 100 years old this year. That will do for me. I use the term looseness in body and mind instead of relaxation. You might debate straightness and impulsion better. That for me is the more complicated question to answer.

  2.  I would say Defiantly rhythm  .If we started our horses" those first couple of rides" with too much relaxation  we would loose their attention resulting in a spooky or balking horse. Allowing the horse to work in rhythm  is relaxing in it's self so rhythm and relaxation should come hand and hand in the young horse.  

  3. Through developing rhythm the green horse develops both mental and physical relaxation.