Piaffe arises by collecting in trot. Piaffe is like a trot in place, with only one hoof print forward in every step. The horse is bending in its haunches, the hind legs step under the point weight and the horse’s surface support becomes smaller. The pelvis is tilted, the back arches and the horse lifts its front.
This should be done with as little use of the rider’s hand as possible:
- The inside leg of the rider asks the inside hind leg forward, the outside leg asks the outside hind leg forward. This makes both hind legs step towards the point of weight.
- The base of the tail can be touched with the whip to ask the horse to lower its pelvis.
- The rider opens his seat and upper legs to give the back space to come up. The rider should sit quietly.
- The rider tilts his pelvis to transfer weight to the hind legs.
- Half halts re-balance the horse onto the hindquarter.
- When the hind legs actually do step forward towards the point of weight, the rider will feel increasing lightness in his hands.
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