Begin with the Spanish Trot

Al Ragusin has been a horse trainer for over 47 years, and today he wants to share his technique with you for training your horse to do the passage. He explains that there are several ways to get this movement, but the easiest way is from the Spanish March, which he covered in his last month’s article. In this article, he explains how to extend the horse’s trot to get a high elevation in his front legs, which is the basis for the passage.

Master the Passage:  Horse Exhibitor, Horse Trainer, Horseman... Discover the difference

Master the Passage in 5 Easy Steps

Extending the trot

Al recommends starting with a collected trot and then extending the horse’s trot from there. When doing this, it’s important to time every step with leg pressure. Apply pressure with your right leg at the lower part of your right calf when the horse’s left front leg is extended, then immediately release the pressure and put pressure on the left as the horse extends his right front leg. This timing is crucial, as it helps the horse associate the pressure with his own leg movements.

Slowing the trot

After practicing the extended trot, you can begin to slow the horse’s forward speed by slightly pulling on the reins. It’s important to keep the same cadence with your leg pressure, so the horse doesn’t slow down the movement. Each day, slow the horse just a little at a time, so he doesn’t lose the high elevation of his legs. This movement takes time to perfect, so don’t rush it.

Using an Austrian Saddle with knee pads

If you’re going to try this technique, Al recommends using an Austrian Saddle with knee pads to stay comfortable and safe in the saddle. The right equipment makes the movement easier and faster and at the same time develops more comfort for you and your horse.

Private lessons (Master the Passage with a Master)

Al recently announced that he’s giving private lessons, and many horse trainers have already booked with him. He encourages everyone to have an open mind and learn as much as they can about this wonderful animal called the horse. If you want to learn more about his technique, book a lesson with him and pass on the technique to others so they can enjoy riding in a more comfortable and safer way.

In conclusion, the passage is a beautiful movement that takes time and patience to perfect. With Al’s techniques, you can train your horse to do the passage and other precision movements that will amaze your audience and strengthen your bond with your horse. Remember to have an open mind, learn from others, and use the parts that benefit you through their experience. Happy riding!