Sometimes the most simple of exercises with our horse can be the most difficult. And sometimes the most simple of exercises can provide the greatest benefit to be able to perform more advanced skills.
The following exercise has been handed down among horse professionals. It is a simple exercise, but if you really start to break it down and think about the exercise it can become very challenging and complicated. The exercise is walk 10 steps, trot 20 steps. Sounds simple, right? What happens if it takes you the entire 10 walking steps just to get your horse to trot? Or it takes your horse more than 20 steps to get him walking again? Well it means it's time to clean up your communication with your horse. But this is where the exercise becomes fun and challenging and can help you develop a good communication system with your horse so you can get to a goal of two maybe even one cueing step for a trot and walk. Woohoo wouldn't that be awesome?
As you work on this exercise the goal is to reduce the amount of cueing steps it takes for your horse to transition. Keep in mind that as you go along some horses will start to anticipate your cue. Ensure that your horse is going off your cue and not anticipation. If your horse starts to anticipate change up the game by changing the amount of walk/trot steps. When you get a couple of good ones in a row, then move on to something else to help prevent boredom and anticipation.
As you progress in the exercise you can advance the work with walk/canter transitions, trot/stop, or any combination you can think of. Get creative and have fun working and challenging you and your horse.