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[RC] Dictating Transitions - k s swigart

Kathy R said:

What percentage (if any, that is my assuming part) do you all
let your horses set the pace?
Am I asking for trouble?  This is her first season and I was
wondering if I should dictate transitions 100% of the time?

You are asking two different questions here.  Dictating pace and
dictating transitions are not the same thing.  Pace is the speed the
horse is using, transition is the gait the horse is using.

To answer your questions. Mostly, I choose the speed and the horse
chooses the gait.  Which would tend to mean that I "set the pace" and
the horse "dictates transitions."

However, this is not ENTIERELY accurate.

I choose the speed based on a bunch of different variables, not the
least of which is my evaluation of the current feedback from the horse,
but also on my foreknowledge of the trail and what more I am going to be
asking of the horse (that the horse doesn't yet know about).  So, my
horse may tell me "I feel great, I can go faster here." to which I might
respond, "Yeah, you might feel great right now, but you don't know
what's coming up next, and if I let you go faster here you won't feel so
great later." :)

And sometimes, I will dictate the transition (e.g. I can see a section
of rocky trail coming up and will tell the horse to transition into the
walk BEFORE the horse trots into it and decides that the walk is a
better gait because it is stumbling :)).  I also "dictate" lead changes
and the canter, I don't wait for the horse to decide that it would be
more comfortable on the other lead.

Orange County, Calif.

REAL endurance is sleeping in the tack compartment of your trailer w/the
door open, and your horse snorts/snots on your forehead every 30 min!
~ Heidi Sowards

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