Gaited Dressage Exercises

Below are videos that show exercises that have helped improve the movement and balance of the naturally gaited horses I ride. These exercises include cantering over ground rails, rein back, and lateral movements which have improved the gaits of the naturally gaited horses I ride. This in turn has improved our dressage test scores over the years.

Improving Canter

Ground Rails at a Canter

Walk-Canter-Walk Transitions

Canter-Halt-Reinback-Canter Transitions


Exercises to Improve Flat Walk

Transitions between counted walk and flat walk have improved our balance and softness.

Fifteen and twenty-meter circles at a flat walk and serpentines have really improved our connection, balance, and quality of flat walk.


Cues to a softer and rounder more square halt
Tips for a softer and rounder halt without the use of force, a harsh bit or spurs. Here’s how to get scores of “8s” on your center line halt and salute.

Rein Back

Lateral Exercises


Shoulder-in and shoulder-in on a circle have improved balance, softness, and engagement.

Leg Yield

Leg yield at a flat walk is a required movement which is introduced in First Level dressage tests.

Pivot the Fore

This is a great exercise to teach the rider the application of aids: use of the inside calf in conjunction with the horse’s inside hind leg to the outside indirect rein and the inside softening rein.

Walk Pirouette

It is important that the horse continues to step through the exercise and not pivot around a foot.

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