Question #53: I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to improve my rhythm and tempo perception?
I'm having a really hard time keeping my horse at a slow steady trot because he gradually speeds up and I don't catch it until he's going way faster than he's supposed to be. I've tried counting but I just speed up my counting with my posting speed. Is there anything else I can do? (Erika)
This is a great question! Rhythm is SO important in dressage, as rhythm and balance go hand in hand. When the horse is maintaining a good rhythm as he performs movements, you likely have both relaxation and a consistent level of balance.
Let's start by defining both rhythm and tempo as they pertain to riding:
Rhythm - The regularity of the timing of the sequence of footfalls
Tempo - The speed of the rhythm
When a horse is having trouble maintaining the rhythm in their gaits, usually one or both of these things is happening - (Click on Question Title above (in blue) to read full answer)