Dressage in General

Lengthening of Stride

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Lengthening of Stride Defined

To increase the pace where each stride covers more gound. This is usually performed on the long side of the arena or across the diagonal.

How to Execute Lengthening of Stride

  • When approaching the long side or diagonal, half halt several times to get the horse’s attention.
  • Increase your back and leg pressure at the girth – usually in the corner
  • When the horse is completely straight on the long side or diagonal, move the hand forward and increase the driving aids.
  • Apply the half halt again as the end of the long side or diagonal approaches.

Purpose of the Lengthening of Stride

This movement is the precursor to the medium paces that are seen in later tests where collection is required.

  • To teach the horse to extend the working gaits.
  • To gymnasticize the horse in daily training.
  • To teach the horse to “go forward.”
  • To allow the aid to come through.

Common Errors in Execution

  • Horse hurries or runs
  • Horse exhibits inconsistent rhythm
  • Horse is on the forehand
  • Horse is tight in the neck
  • Horse goes behind the vertical
  • Horse does not show thrust from the hindquarters
  • Horse breaks to canter from the trot
  • Horse does not show lengthening
  • The rider uses too much hand
  • The rider does not prepare the horse enough
  • The rider is crooked
  • The rider is too busy in the seat
  • The rider does not apply the aids correctly or at the right time.




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