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"The transition from the halt to the trot, and from the trot to the halt, is one of the keystones of good dressage training, and makes the horse properly collected."
"The repeated usage of half-halts and halts from the trot is a great help."
"Transition problems [may] indicate pressure toward the back third of the saddle."
"All transitions should be made quickly, yet must be fluid and smooth."
"Be sure not to use the reins for downward transitions without using your legs at the same time: any use of the reins without equal use of your legs will discourage the horse's hind legs from coming under his body."
"After you learn how to 'still' your seat, you need to educate your horse so you can use your seat as the primary aid for downward transitions."
"Both upward and downward transitions should be clear and distinct but not abrupt."
"On a well-schooled horse the downward transition from canter to trot is achieved simply by bringing the outside leg out of the canter depart position. The horse feels the two hips square up again and obediently moves forward into trot."
"Closing firmly when the horse is to make a downward transition, the fingers should soften immediately after the transition is completed to say 'Thank you for obeying me'."
"With a clear understanding of what horses are doing at each of the basic gaits, we can use dance-like communication with the horse to change from one to the other (transitions between gaits) or to change the length and height of the strides within each gait (transitions within the gait or tempo changes), and any of the other movements various sports call for."
"...some phases of each gait are very similar to phases in other gaits. These are the most opportune moments to make transitions between the gaits."
"...there are many ways to change gaits by using rather small changes in footfall."
"In the ideal case, there is a supple and fluid transition; a horse should never suddenly tip from one balance state into another."
"Walk-to-canter, halt-to-trot, and halt-to-canter transitions are far more difficult for him both physically and mentally, so do not try them too soon."
"...you can help him in his transitions by squeezing your hand shut to strengthen the contact as you ask for changes upward. This will help him balance more so he can lift himself into the gait instead of having to leap into it. Do the same in asking for transitions down, driving him lightly so he pushes into the change instead of simply falling into it and so having to rush forward or coast down to catch his balance."