What is meant by the aids?—The aids are the different means employed by the rider to convey his desires or intentions to the horse.
Into what classes are they divided?—The aids may be divided into natural and artificial. The natural aids are the hands and legs; the artificial aids are: the spur, the whip, the voice, the pat, the longe, the longeing whip and the padded posts.
The hands are called the upper aids and the legs, the lower aids. Some horsemen make use of the terms principal and supplementary to designate the natural and artificial aids, respectively.
From the standpoint of the execution of a movement the aids are classed as decisive and controlling.
The former are indispensable to the execution of the movement and have a dominating action; the latter are merely useful, and participate only in setting the horse to advantage and in making the movement regular.
A final division into lateral and diagonal aids results from the manner in which the aids are combined. In the first case, the rider uses simultaneously the rein and the leg on the same side; in the second case, he uses the rein on one side and the leg on the opposite side.
Function of the hands.—It is the business of the hands, through the medium of the reins, to communicate to the horse his rider's will, to regulate the horse's gaits, to halt him and to back him.
Their principal function is the control of the forehand, the impulse having been given previously by the legs.
- Les piliers are two padded posts to which the horse is fastened by a harness for instruction in the high school "piaffer" and in the different plunges and kicks of the "sauteur."