Tutorial: How To Teach A Horse Piaffe

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How To Teach A Horse PiaffeTutorial: How To Teach A Horse Piaffe
Photo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFyVvCIMh1I

Piaffe is one of the elegant movements of Dressage. It is a a majestic trot, in place or nearly in-place, in which the horse jumps from one diagonal to the other. [1] Piaffe requires great lightness and control.

Often, a piaffe is regarded as an excellent way to obtain submission from horses. In general, one can say that the rider has truly dominated the horse when the equine is not just able to perform the trot, but also execute it with suppleness, relaxation and energy.

Before teaching the horse to piaffe, make sure that the horse is able to carry itself well. It should also be relaxed, flexible, and has developed impressive impulsion.

When teaching a horse to piaffe, the animal’s temperament should be well considered. For energetic horses that are able to collect and diagonalize easily, owners and trainers should start with Passage, and gradually move into piaffe. On the other hand, for horses that are less capable of diagonalizing easily, researchers suggest that teaching piaffe is a smarter move.

How does an ideal piaffe look? A beautiful piaffe is achieved when the horse looks serene and relaxed, wherein its jaws seemed to be yielding, while the mouth is smooth. Also, the horse should have a constant posture. The symmetry of the limbs and diagonalization should also be present. The front leg is also lifted until the forearm reached horizontal. In an ideal piaffe, the rider should also be relaxed, and in balance.

Ready to teach your horse to piaffe? Let’s get started. You will need a whip. Tap the legs of your horse with a whip one at a time. Do this until the horse starts lifting its leg each time you tap it. As you can continue tapping the horse’s legs, they will likely try to run away from you, hence some form of restraint is required.

The next stage will be to perform these steps with the rider on the back of the horse. As time goes by, the horse quickly gets fed up with the continuous swatting of its legs. So, it prances and kicks in the manner of the piaffe.

We have found an amazing and useful instructional video on how to start teaching your horse to piaffe:

[1] http://www.cheval-haute-ecole.com/indexA31102.html

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