Monday, August 23, 2010

Turn Like a Ship

Quarter turns in canter, like the ones you must make make in second level test 2 from E to B with a simple change of lead at X with a 10 meter circle before and after at V and R, were the focus in our lesson this week. Begin by cantering a straight line-- think shoulder fore-- keep it straight with both your legs at the girth. You can even occasionally test the contact and suppleness by asking for a little counter flexion then back to normal flexion, but always staying straight in canter (as in shoulder fore). When you turn, ride a square 90 degree angle: half halt strongly on the outside rein, bring your outside leg back, and bring the shoulder around as though making a quarter pirouette. Then ride forward completely straight, and even test the straightness, throughness and suppleness with some slight counter flexion again. When riding 10 meter circles, make them a series of straight lines (like a 10 meter stop sign) with small turns on the haunches, bringing the shoulder around the circle keeping the horse in the outside rein with half halts and supporting the turn with your outside leg slightly behind the girth while your inside leg at the girth supports the bend.