Improve your Transitions
Today I was teaching a student who had an “a-ha” moment of how to improve the transitions. First of all you must prepare your horse with a half halt, next you ask with your weight aids first, and very little hand. It is important to test your horses responsiveness to your aids of lowering the heels, shifting the shoulders slightly back, lengthening the spine and sinking into the saddle with relaxed hips. The horse should melt into the transition smoothly and easily. Always take care that your horse has a soft neck which will only be possible if the rider is relaxed in her neck, shoulders and arms.
If your horse tends to brace against your hand in the transition up or down, chances are your hands are too strong. Remember, less is more. Ride with feeling and finesse.