We started today as always on a long rein plodding around the arena, once we’d done a lap I decided to work on Baxter’s forward buttons.

A small squeeze of the lower leg initially didn’t get much response… so a sharp push with my legs and Baxter shot forward.

I believe that forward movement shouldn’t be rewarded if it has come from a sharp push and that Baxter is ONLY rewarded once I have gone back to re-try the forward button. basically, to re-try you go back to your starting pace and give another small squeeze, if he shoots forward from the small squeeze he gets ‘SUPER PATS’ (lots of pats!) and praise!

If this doesn’t happen on the second time, repeat and repeat and repeat.

So, on the sixth re-try Baxter had finally got the idea! We were off… We kept it simple with just some transitions and long and low work, vast improvement from last ride!

Rewarding forward movement following a sharp push inevitably leads to a horse to get heavier and heavier in their response to the leg aid, in my opinion anyway.

Oh… and if you were wondering… I wear spurs to be clear with my aids, not to make holes in Baxters sides!