This is how horses learn riding aids - Part 1: Theoretical introduction and ethology 2017-06-30T00:00:00+02:00

The question of how horses learn to understand the actions of their rider and to implement accordingly is a particularly exciting topic for dressage instructor Britta Schöffmann. "Everything horses do under the rider," she explains, "they do because the rider taught them, even things that might not have been intended." The riding aids are the most direct way of communication between a rider and his horse during the riding. Therefore, it is important to know not only how to use them but also how to teach them for the horse to understand what is asked from him.

For this reason, it is not only important to learn the equestrian techniques as well as possible, but also to know the connections between innate instincts, human actions and the reactions of the horse. The nature of the horse as a herd and flight animal must never be forgotten when trying to educate him.

In this video, Britta Schöffmann explains what ethology and learning theory has to do with equestrian aids and how these two areas influence the learning behavior of horses and their understanding of riding aids. In doing so, she builds the bridge to the knowledge of old masters and transfers them to the present. Practical exercise sequences with a recently ridden and with a more experienced horse complement the theoretical introduction.

Further videos in this series:


You will learn in this video:

  • What ethology and learning theory has to do with riding
  • Why you need to be precise while teaching riding aids
  • Why trust is so important for you and your horse

Dr. Britta Schöffmann

The journalist and former Grand Prix rider turned her hobby into “the most multi-faceted job in the world”: she rides, teaches, and writes. Her books on dressage are read worldwide.

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