Dressage - Travers
Travers is a lateral exercise used in dressage in which the horse moves on a straight line with the quarters on an inner track.
Benefits To The Horse
The horse has to stay attentive to the riders aids whilst riding Travers which will also help to improve lateral bending of the horse and overall suppleness. Engagement of the hindquarters occurs due to the horses outside leg having to cross over encouraging the engagement horses inside leg at the same time. Travers is also used to help prepare a horse who is already riding Shoulder In and who is ready to move on to Half Pass.
How To Ask For Travers
- Ensure that your horse is actively walking on with a free and fluent movement, remembering that this should not be impaired when the Travers begins but instead maintained with impulsion from the riders inside leg.
- Use the corners of the school to help you set your horse up or alternatively ride a small 10 to 15 m circle.
- If you are starting on the left rein then as your horse's shoulder just comes out of the circle or corner ask for the Travers.
- Ensure that you and your horse are looking forwards into the direction that you are about to move in.
- Move your outside leg ( If on the left rein this will be your right leg) back slightly behind the girth to ask the horses hindquarters to move inwards to an approximate 30 degree angle.
- Keep your inside leg on the girth in order to maintain impulsion and maintain a small amount of bend or flexion to the inside.
- Your outside (right) rein will balance the horse, control the bend, keep the horse traveling in a straight line and support the riders leg.
- While your inside ( left) rein will maintain a soft inside bend to the left.
- When you have ridden a few steps and you wish to end the Travers bring the horses shoulder in line with the quarters and ride away.
- Start off with a few strides and then gradually build them up until you can maintain Travers up the long side of the school.