Good horsemanship starts with a feeling for horses, and knowing your horse is invaluable. In dressage we seek to replicate the natural movement of the horse, but the horse in nature doesn’t repeat these movements while bearing a load. So what can we do to achieve our goals and keep our horses sound and happy?
In an ideal world, repetitions would be kept to a minimum. Sometimes professional riders are lambasted for working their horses at higher levels too soon. However, often the benefit of the rider’s experience means they know how to present the work to the horse in a way that is easy to understand, and so the horses have actually done fewer repetitions of the movements than they may do with a rider who is doing it for the first time.