When working with horses, you have four basic aids: legs, weight, hands, and voice.
Of these aids, voice is often overlooked or forgotten—maybe because people are embarrassed or think it sounds silly, or maybe because people just plain forget most of the time. Truth is, a lot people spend much of their time around horses without ever making a sound. And if you think about it, they’re not taking advantage of one super important aid. In terms of escalating pressure (more on that here), the baseline is already “heavier” because the lightest cue available is limited to light physical contact. Your voice is the only aid that has no physical contact with the horse—so without it a whole layer of nuance is lost.
Basically your voice opens up all kinds of possibilities. Whether it’s to help use lighter degrees of pressure or to convey more specific and complex requests, your voice is an important line of communication with your horse and shouldn’t be overlooked. Remember, all four of your aids are equally important. Use your voice to help get the most out of your horse.