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Lateral Schooling Can Be For Anyone and Can Be Done Anywhere

Hacking is a brilliant opportunity to sneak in the odd bit of schooling for you and your horse, without it seeming a daunting task.
Hacking is brilliant in helping you and your horse relax and enjoy time together and for practicing a number of different small lateral and disciplinary movements, many of which you many find in a Dressage test.
The most obvious exercises are; -Free walk on a long rein -Transitions -Shoulder-In -Quarters-In -Lengthening and shortening strides -Testing your accuracy in performing different maneuvers.
Free Walk on a long rein This will vary depending on the excitement and control you have of you horse, but on a hack you can encourage your horse to extend his neck and stretch down with the bit walking out with forward moving long strides.
Transitions Any transition can be worked on when hacking (surface dependent) and is a great way of keeping you and horse entertained whilst fine tuning your transitions together.
Whether it is walk to trot, trot to canter or walk to canter you have the opportunity to repeat and perfect the transition and reactions to your legs, in relaxed and enjoyable surroundings.
All the time you can be thinking on keeping a basic outline and impulsive movements.
Lateral movements such as shoulder-in and quarters-in are ideally practiced along verges or quiet roadsides, this will help you maintain a straight forward track, allowing you to concentrate on the movement at hand.
Lengthening and shortening of strides are often better worked on in more open spaces.
Impulsion is often more easily established in exciting open areas.
This can liven up a field and provide you with the perfect opportunity and space to perform ongoing lengthening and shortening in a straight line, giving enough time for the horse to learn and you to be able to concentrate on teaching the horse without having to turn as you would in an arena.
The start and end of hedges, or lampposts, or fence posts or trees can all be used as start and finish points, allowing you to work on the accuracy of any movements you ask to be performed.
They can be used to help you look up and around you as you ride and in turn can help with your position and seat when in the saddle.
Schooling and practice outdoors can be fun for both you and the horse and often provides a good basis for any future, more advanced schooling.
Horses and you will want to learn and an interest in activities like this rather than becoming bored in a school can help you and your horse learn faster and with more impulsion and excitement.

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