7 steps to using the Scales of Training: #1 RHYTHM

As discussed in my last post, the SCALES OF TRAINING form the guidelines by which you should decide which aspect of training to focus on at any given point in your horse’s training, both within a single training session, and during a training phase that may be ongoing for several sessions, or even months.

Unless you address the scales in order your training will be less than effective, because each scale underpins the ones above, as depicted in the diagram below.

Without establishing the most basic of the scales at the base of the pyramid – rhythm – anything else you do with your horse will be worthless, because a horse without a correct rhythm can never develop any of the further scales, nor will such a horse ever find ridden work relaxing and enjoyable.

I often term this first scale ‘rhythm and relaxation‘, because the one promotes the other.


First, we need to consider what (in equestrian terms) constitutes good rhythm.

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