The Horse | Does a Horse's Work Affect His Personality?
Not the reason why I posted this, but thought it would be interesting to point out:
"According to the researchers, "The fact that dressage riders expect their horses to react quickly to their orders might develop their 'sensitiveness' to the point that can easily lead to nervousness, and by repetition in the long term, become an integral part of the horse's personality."
Which is why many of your "old masters" of dressage constantly stress the important of cross-training.
I popped Greta over a crossrail the other day and, as always, we both ended a good light ride with a great deal of fun! It's hard to cross-discipline, because many riders get terribly focused on perfecting work in the arena, that they can forget they can also work on some of the same skills on a short trail ride, going over ground poles or jumps, from the ground, or just in a new area in general. When I take Greta for short hacks around the property, if she's uneasy about something and wants to move away from it, I try and turn it into a leg-yield (very successful with that today!) I have more room to work on basic speed-up/slow-down at the canter in the pasture in the morning when the horses are already inside for the day (they get night turn-out now that it's so hot) and do a normal ride as well. It just spices things up because we're in a different setting on uneven ground, and we both have to become super aware of where Greta's feet are as we go up and down and around and over the small hills and slopes. Fun stuff!