Equinamity-A Revolution in Horse and Rider Training

Equi-note 6 The Riding Revolution is based on a series of Principles

Author with dark bay horse. The Riding Revolution is based on Principles

Equi-note 6


The Riding Revolution is based on a series of Principles

These Principles are expressed as a series of milestones. Why are Equestrian Principles important?

Their purpose is to help build understanding between horse and owner.



To achieve this it is important that the principles be readily understood. This is why they are not in technical language. In fact, this is the reason why Equinamity’s Principles are expressed in horsey language.

Principles serve an important purpose as bench marks.  And in addition, they can be invaluable in the preparation of both the horse and rider. Some of them will have almost a universal application to all horses and their owners. Others will be useful for very specific sports. The 1st Principle which follows will reveal how this takes place: Equi-note #7 A Key Principle for success is matching horse and rider

They can be used for work, for pleasure and for competitions. They can be used for pretty much anything which refers to riding and to the general handling of the horse.

Principles can help horse owners further develop their understanding of the horse. This is because they can serve as signposts for resolving an extensive range of horse related situations. However, there is not much point in presenting them in textbook form as might be the case of a traditional method of learning.

Learning from horses can only really be done by listening to and observing the horse. Consequently, owners and riders must learn horsey language. And any principles drawn from them must reflect this very earthy simplicity.


Horsey language expresses Equinamity’s Equestrian Principles

How do horses show them? Which triggers provoke them? What are their characteristics? Horses express themselves in an extensive range of ways. This will become evident as the Principles are introduced throughout this series of posts.

The Principles must be able to accomodate the fact that their expressions are very volatile. This is shown by the fact that they can change dramatically in a matter of seconds.

The rider/handler must learn what these signals are. And how to interpret them. Because it is out of this basic behaviour that equestrian Principles originate.

Here are several examples to illustrate. Horses clearly show that they are hungry or thirsty. They do this quickly and obviously. It can be done by a turned-out horse in one way, by standing looking longingly at the water trough or feed bucket. Another is by a horse banging on a stable door at tea-time.

These are constant reminders of the horse’s need to be fed. It is also a source of discipline to stable staff to hurry up, so as not to keep the horses waiting.

These are two very basic expressions. However, just because they are basic does not mean that they are unimportant.

They  are of critical importance and cannot be ignored. The expressions from the horse are so clear that they are easily recognized even by non-horsey individuals.


But how do you evaluate the expression of pain?

And how do you measure it when there is a very wide range of potential conditions? Rider and owner judgment is essential. And this is a consequence of experience.

After an initial viewing of an incident, it is probable that an immediate assessment will need to be made. This will determine the alternative courses of action for treatment. Pain usually means that some form of medical involvement will be needed.

However, depending on the incident, the horse’s expression can extend all the way from mild to extreme. Owners with less overall experience are advised to get professional help sooner rather than later.


Equestrian Principles reflect an important group of signals

They can range from very basic to very complicated. Many of them derive from riding where the horsey signals also need to be learned. Since they are different from those expresssed on the ground.

Here is a good example. How does your horse respond to your aids for transitions?

For purposes of context, a transition here refers to the horse changing from one gait to another. For example, a change could be from walk to trot or canter, or from trot to canter. These are upward transitions. There are also downward transitions. An example would be from canter to trot or walk.

So what could be some of the horse’s reactions when you apply the aids? Does it run away? Or buck? Does it dig its feet into the ground and refuse to move? Or does it perform a quick u-turn and gallop back to the stable? These reactions are very clear horsey signals. And not very cooperative ones.

What is important is that they highlight a critical aspect of horse-rider communication. And when it doesn’t work it results in misunderstanding. And also a display of resistance by the horse to the rider’s instructions.

There may be a number of reasons why this is happening. But the point being made is that it has a special relevance. Since the horse cannot execute a transition at the wrong time in its step sequence. If the aid is given at the wrong time, the horse cannot respond correctly.

Thus, there is a very clear explanation but it is probably not the one that you anticipated.


The incorrect response by the horse is based on its step structure

Step structure was mentioned in the title of this blog. And it is one of the keys underpinning Equinamity’s Riding Revolution. Because it is so important there are several Principles which will develop out of it.

Let’s start by asking the following questions:

-Do you know what happens if you give the aids at the wrong time in the horse’s step sequence?

-Are you aware that this creates a serious problem for the horse?

-Do you also know that this same problem applies to all gaits? It affects the horse equally whether the gait is walk, trot or canter. It also affects upward as well as downward transitions.

-Does it frustrate you when the horse does not respond instantaneously to your instruction to perform a transition?

-Has it not occurred to you that the horse may not be able respond correctly to your aids. And that it may not able to make the transition from one gait for an entirely justifiable reason. Which has nothing to do with being disobedient.


This refusal from the horse is very significant

It is not disobedience.

It cannot respond correctly for purely mechanical reasons. The reason is because it can only change when its leg sequence permits it.

However, you, me and most of us have probably seen many horses being punished for poor quality transitions. But herein lies an important equestrian principle which is probably under-appreciated.


The horse’s confused response is most likely to be the result of a confused instruction from the rider

This is likely to be a startling conclusion for many horse owners and riders. And probably a bit depressing. Especially if you have spent hundreds or thousands of hours in the saddle making a seriously committed effort to perfecting your riding technique.

However, this reveals preciely why Equinamity’s Riding Revolution will be useful both to you and to your horse.

This is an illustration of one of the many new subjects which will be presented in this blog.


New insights will be presented in this key area of transitions

And also across a wider range actions which reflect the horse’s body dynamics.

Below you will find a preliminary list of subjects dealing with these key equestrian matters. They are the basis for identifying  these important Principles.

-Inputs and outputs



-Centre of balance and gravity


-Role of head and neck

-Step analysis


-Hip actions-horse and rider

-Turns-three ways to turn

-Lateral movements

These subjects will address many of the issues which underpin the Equinamity’s Riding Revolution. They will be described in detail as well as those Principles derived from the lessons they provide.

Their purpose is to assist in improving the relationship that you have with your horse. And in the performance quality for those involved in competitions.