Scales of training – impulsion

Posted 8th February 2021

Learn all about impulsion


You may have been told by your instructor to encourage your pony to go forward with more impulsion, but do you know what this means? Well, it’s all about energy! Of course, there’s more to it than just going fast, so we’ve got the low-down on how you can make your pony’s paces feel active and look amazing!

Top Tip

Schooling in a field or while out hacking can help encourage your pony to go forward more willingly. But only do this if he’ll stay calm and won’t get too excited!


It’s easy to mistake impulsion for speed, but you’ll need to do more than just push your pony forward. There are four key things that he needs to do in order to create impulsion. He should…

  • want to go forward You need to be able to encourage your pony to take active, positive steps forward without having to constantly nag him with your legs. He should react to your aids quickly and willingly, which is known as being responsive.
  • have a spring in his step As well as moving forward, your pony should show a springiness in his steps. This is when he flexes and extends his legs, so his paces look more floaty and impressive.
  • be supple through his back In order for your pony’s energy to flow through his whole body, from his hindlegs to the bit, it’s important that his neck and back stay relaxed.
  • engage his hindquarters Your pony’s hindquarters need to be really strong so they can power the rest of his body forwards. To help this, encourage him to take more of his weight back onto his hindlegs by riding exercises like rein-back, turn-on-the haunches and riding a diamond shape instead of a circle.

Find out more about how to progress to the next scale of training, and an impulsion-boosting exercise, in Spring PONY, on sale 10 February 2021.


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