Trish Franks Riding School News

What Does Your Riding Instructor Always Say?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We Know you have heard us say it before…..

We found this great article at and thought we would share it with our riders!

The horse-world has its own language and you’ll begin hearing new words and phrases as soon as you enter a stable. When you start taking riding lessons, you’ll hear some phrases very frequently as your coach teaches you new skills. Here are some of the most common phrases that a beginner rider will hear.


The horses that dependably, quietly and obediently carry learning riders during lessons may be called school masters. Quite often these are older horses whose competition days are behind them. But their knowledge makes them the ideal mount for someone who wants to learn new skills. A retired school master may make the perfect first horse for a beginner.

On the Rail

You’ll most often begin riding along the rail or on the wall of the riding ring or arena. If you’re in the middle, just after mounting your horse, you’ll be asked to go out to the rail or wall. You may be asked to track right or left. Tracking left on the rail means you’ll be riding counter-clockwise, and tracking right means you’ll be riding on the rail in a clockwise direction.

Change Rein

While you’re riding on the rail, you may be asked to change rein. Changing rein means to change direction. Traditionally western riders change rein by riding in a small loop towards the center line of the arena and doubling back. English riders do the opposite however, and ride towards the center line (no further than the quarter line) and loop back towards the fence or wall.

Change Rein on the Diagonal

When you’re asked to change rein on the diagonal, you’ll ride around the next short end of the arena and as you ride into the long side, you’ll ride a diagonal line directly to the top of the opposite corner. You’ll then proceed along the short side of the arena, going in the opposite direction. If you’re riding in a marked dressage arena, a change on the diagonal would be to ride F,A,K to M,C,H.

Change Rein on the Short Diagonal

If you’re asked to change rein on the short diagonal, you’ll ride as you did for the long diagonal, but instead of heading for the top of the opposite corner, you’ll head for a point along the fence or wall that is half way along the length of the arena. If you’re riding in a marked dressage arena, a change on the short diagonal would be to ride F,A,K to B,M,C.

You’re on The Wrong Diagonal (truly a classic!)

Being on the wrong diagonal doesn’t mean you’re riding in the wrong direction! It means that as you’re posting the trot, you’re sitting as the horse reaches out with the outside leg, and rising when the leg hits the ground. This is opposite of what you should be doing. Learn to post the trot and remember to ‘rise and fall with the leg on the wall’.

Heels Down

This is probably one thing you’ll hear often as you start learning to ride. Learn how and why you need keep your heels down while riding.

Inside Leg to Outside Rein

Western riders probably won’t hear this, but English riders may start to hear it in their sleep. Inside leg to outside reins means you’ll be using your inside leg to push your horse’s barrel towards the wall, and keeping the forward motion, while keeping the shoulders straight with contact on the outside (nearest the wall) rein.

Ride the Inside Track

When you ride on the rail or on the wall, you’ll be riding on the outside track. The inside track is around the ring the arena, but about four to six feet from the wall or fence depending on the size of the riding area. Riding on the inside track is a bit more difficult because you and the horse don’t have the fence or wall to straighten you out.

Ride Down the Quarter Line or Center Line

Like riding on the inside track, riding down the quarter line or center line is often part of exercises in straightness. Without the wall to follow, it’s harder to keep your horse perfectly straight. The quarter line is half way between the wall and center line down the long side of the arena. The center line is of course, down the center length of the arena or ring. The quarter line is often the starting point for exercises like leg yields and half passes.

Sit Up, Shoulders Back

Or you might here something like ‘open your chest’. My posture is my Achilles Heel, whether on my horse on not. I’ve always been the ‘tall girl’ and try to hide my height be slouching. This isn’t good for my back or my horse. Slumping over means you’ll be less balanced and flexible and less able to follow your horse’s movements. If your horse stops suddenly you’ll already have your weight forward and could become unseated easily….

Look Up

You might also hear something like ‘look between the horse’s ears’. If the horse you’re riding has a low head set, you might actually have to look down to look between its ears. But the idea is that you should keep your chin up, and look where you are going, rather than looking down at the horse, or at your hands. Looking down stiffens your spine, and you want to stay flexible.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1517679456434{background-color: #ff77ff7f7 !important;}”][vc_column][vc_separator][vc_column_text]The Trish Franks School of Riding, LLC has been offering quality instruction in hunt seat, reining, horsemanship and dressage since 1992. We have lesson horses and ponies all types of students (young and old).

“We teach safe horsemanship to horse-loving children & adults in a safe, healthy environment, regardless of their economic status.”  And we hope that students will learn some of “life’s other little lessons” along the way. ”      – Trish Franks Program Founder / Head Coach[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”The Riding Disciplines & Programs That We Offer” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Western Classes” style=”classic” color=”success” link=”|title:Western%20Riding%20Classes|target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”English Classes” style=”classic” color=”blue” link=”|title:English%20Riding%20Classes|target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Toddler Program” style=”classic” color=”peacoc” link=”|title:Toddler%20Riding%20Classes|target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_btn title=”Horse Camps” style=”classic” color=”violet” link=”|title:Upcoming%20horse%20camps|target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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