My new horse Bentley is wonderful, but at 17+ hands he has a long back, and at 6 years old he needs to learn how to utilize and strengthen his top line. Aspire Equestrian reminded me of the enormous importance and effect of planned, deliberate transition exercises.
Rather than transitioning merely between gaits as we warmed up, we completed a series of 4 transitions each of walk/ trot, trot/ canter, canter/walk on a 20 meter circle. After completing this exercise periodically over a few weeks the transformation of his top line and the roundness of his stride is incredible and overtly obvious to everyone.
I've spent some time thinking about the importance of transitions in life.
When I am speaking to large groups or arguing in court I keep myself on track by planning out how I will transition between arguments or story lines, and what word or event will trigger the transition.
I thought about how so many of my clients utilize my services because they are anticipating a transition, or have recently gone through a transition, and they need my legal expertise to help plan, smooth, or repair the transition.
Stills from a video of my ride on Bentley, stretching out his top line, taken prior to beginning transition exercises suggested by Aspire Equestrian
Bentley and I are getting much sharper in our transitions, but our canter to walk needs refinement. He collapses a bit on his forehand and has too many trot steps. I need to help him round and tuck his haunches and sit back to walk more smoothly and quickly (and I'm open to more training tips if you have some!)
Common client transitions are: a longer or shorter horse lease term, transitioning into ownership of a new horse, bringing in a new trainer, and other subtle or dramatic changes in equestrian pursuits. These changes require preparation to ensure a clean and efficient transition.
Just like riders putting their legs on, sitting deeply, and adjusting their aids for a transition, equestrians need to have the right legal framework, documents, and advice so that the transition in their equine life doesn't collapse like an unbalanced horse.
When I first started the transition exercises Bentley's hind end would collapse and stumble when going from canter to walk. I needed to repair that error and get him back into a healthy frame. If your equine business transition is in trouble, make sure you actively remedy it immediately so that you can get back on track. Learn from and correct your mistakes to ensure healthier transitions in the future.
Switching to a dressage saddle helped me get my transitions rounder, cleaner, and more efficient. Consider what legal steps or changes you need to take to make your equine transitions be the same.