The curious case of Bastitini

Life with this little grey one is never going to be boring... Despite having owned him for over a decade, I feel like I have only just figured out how to ride him! We're coming to the end of our rehabilitation plan, so that now I would be willing to take him to somewhere for a training session - if we could actually trailer anywhere because the roads are currently just ice and far too dangerous! ❄️ 🦄

It's taken me months of consistently riding him since moving back to Finland to figure out how to most effectively warm him up so that he is in front of my leg and soft through the neck. Whilst Basse is by nature a bit of a lazy horse who likes to stay in his comfort zone, he also doesn't like being nagged to go faster and if you do this, he'll work very hard to block you and to lean against your hand and you end spending 45 minutes begging for a stride where he's not arguing with you (I learnt my lesson very quickly)

And you know what works? TRANSITIONS. A billion of them. Walk to halt to trot to walk to trot to canter to walk to halt... Just by asking for a transition every 10-15 meters, this horse starts to reacts quicker and starts to push from behind. My favourite exercise is to do a figure of eight (where one of the circles is 20m and the other 10m) with lots of transitions because it ensures that I get him supple through his body with quick reactions to my leg. After doing this for less than ten minutes, Basse is totally ready to do good work.

I'm definitely going to be using this as an exercise this summer at competitions, as it's such an easy thing and makes such a difference. I've always been told to do lots of transitions when riding, but no one has ever told me to lots of transitions very quickly one after another!

Anyone else have a good exercises to make a lazy horse quicker and softer?


  1. Oh, I'm going to try this exercise! Thanks for sharing :D

  2. Loving the colour co-ordination here! :)

  3. I enjoyed reading about you and your horse! Now I feel inspired.