Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved. Ruah Ranch
I’d like to share with you a training technique that can be applied by riders of any skill level and in virtually any training situation. The use of the reprise was taught to me by Karl Mikolka, Oberbereiter a.D., a truly gifted teacher, trainer and rider.
Reprise is a musical term that refers to the repetition of a previous part of a composition. In riding it functions in the same fashion and is possibly the most effective and overlooked tool available to riders of all levels and abilities.
Anyone who has spent any time around horses knows how quickly they learn what time
breakfast or dinner is served. How many repetitions or “reprises” did it take for
your horse to learn the feeding schedule at your barn? The equine brain quite naturally
wraps itself around repetitions of any kind -
Much of our work with horses is involved in teaching them how to learn and the reprise
is a very effective tool to achieve this. The next time you introduce something new
to your horse, try this technique: Giving clear and thoughtful aids, ask the horse
to perform the action you want. This first attempt will likely be rather (or very)
clumsy and you must reward the horse for the slightest effort on his part (i.e. stop
the requesting action by riding straight forward, relaxing the requesting aids, halting,
petting and/or verbally praising the horse -
Connie Erickson © 2010, 2011, 2012 Ruah Ranch