How to Correctly Apply the Aids
Apply the natural aid clearly and gently.
Give the pony time to respond to the aid.
Use a stronger version of the initial natural aid if the pony does not respond.
Follow up the natural aid with an artificial aid such as a crop behind the leg.
Correct Use of the Aids Example
When you ask for a transition from a walk to a trot, use the aids in the following order:
Ask: Squeeze both legs gently at the girth.
Allow: Wait for the pony to respond.
Tell: Use both legs stronger at the girth if the pony does not begin to trot.
Demand: Use an artificial aid such as a spur or a crop behind the leg.
Basic Rein Aids
Use the reins with a gentle give and take without yanking or holding.
A leading rein, also called an opening rein, gives the horse direction without taking away from it’s forward movement. The rider’s hand opens away from the horse’s body and leads the horse in the desired direction. This rein aid is used one hand at a time.
A direct rein is the most basic use of hands on the reins. The rider’s hands move forward or backward and do not move sideways. For example, to apply a left direct rein, the rider moves the left hand straight back toward their left hip. The line from the rider’s elbow to the bit is straight at all times.
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