1.  Free Forward Movement.

2.  Freedom of Movement.

3.  Regularity of Stride.

4.  Lateral Flexion.

5.  (1st Definition of Suppleness)
          The Three Rhythms:
                1. Forward Diagonal.
                2. Side-to-Side.
                3. Up and Down.

6.  Longitudinal stretch.

7.  Acceptance of Contact:
          a.  Educating the horse’s mouth.
          b.  Connecting the hind and front quarters.
          c.  Connecting the horse’s mouth and hocks.


8.  Flexions - Lateral and longitudinal, in hand and while ridden.

9.  On the Aids:

          a.  Engaged Paces. (1st degree of collection.)

10.  Changes of rein and/or driving leg:
          a.  These are obtained through the flexions and through connecting the right                       rein to the right hind and the left rein to the left hind.

         b.  They are practiced from a standstill, in circles, S’s, figure eights,                                     serpentines, teardrops, spirals, and the lateral movements.

11.  Straightness.

12.  Engagement and Impulsion:
          a.  These are obtained through the flexions, connecting the reins to hind feet, the                 rein-back to forward, and through changes of pace within a gait, as well as                     changes of gait.

13.  Collection:
          a.  (2nd degree of collection,) which is defined as a form. This form includes                         having the horse inspired and emotionally involved.
          b.  This is obtained through the horse understanding and putting together the                       principles of connecting the reins to the hind feet, the forward to rein-back,                     and refined through gaining control of each step.

           c.  (2nd definition of Suppleness)
          Being able to complete the forward circular circuit of energy from the hind           limbs to the rider’s hands.

14.  Schooling Gaits:
          a.  (3rd degree of collection.)
          b.  Schooling walk becomes a very slow high cadenced two beat walk.
          c.  Schooling trot becomes a very slow high cadenced trot.
          d.  Schooling canter becomes a four beat canter. The beats being, 1) outside                       hind, 2) inside hind, 3) outside front, 4) inside front.

15.  Rassembler:
          a. (4th degree of collection.)
          b.  The physical aids fall away.   
          c.  It is a quality rather than a form.

The true answer to all our problems lies in having the horse in balance with free forward movement—in front of the legs, and in being able to control the direction and cadence of the feet. Everything we do with the horse is to obtain this. Obtaining this is what brings safety, unity and performance.

The Foundation Principles for Relaxation and Balance

​By Clay Wright