Lateral work is like yoga for horses and riders

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Lateral work is like yoga for horses and riders; in our horse riding centre in Tuscany, Il Paretaio, we believe that lateral work is an essential part of classical riding and good training. There is no possibility in fact to collect a horse unless there is a good preparation of the horse making him supple, soft, relaxed in the mind and in the body and listening to the aids first.

We all dream a horse well balanced and flexible and the lateral work is an essential tool to reach this objective.

Lateral work can be called the "aspirine" of equitation because it can solve lots of problems: canter problems, flexing the hind quarters problems, tension problems and many others. For example, if you find difficult to canter with a horse on the right lead you will see that after exercizing with the correct lateral work exercizes your horse will be more capable to use his weak outside hind left leg for his right lead canter. Furthermore a good lateral work will increase the ability and will of the horse to go forward.

Why lateral work is like yoga for horses and riders? With a good lateral work your horse will learn to use better his body and he will become stronger and more flexible; this is exactly what happens to us doing yoga. We become more flexible, stronger, we acquire more body awareness, balance and we feel better. also you will see that it will increase his ability and will to go forward.

In addition to this consider that lateral work is something that has to be done gradually and slowly. Speed is the worse enemy of collection! It can calm the rider too because he needs to give the horse time to understand the requests and it is very important to do these exercises very gradually and always using the minimum and lightest aids you can.
Staff Il Paretaio 2016-01-04