HomeExpert AdviceArticlePerfect pirouettes

Perfect pirouettes

Posted in Flatwork Riding Schooling and Training

Read Wendy Jago’s training feature on walk pirouettes in May Horse&Rider, then try these extra schooling exercises

Exercise 1

* Ride a square – either at one end of the arena so that it has three sides boundaried by fences and one side open, or in the central part with two boundaried and two open sides.

* At each corner of the square, make a quarter-pirouette to change direction onto the next side (your turns will be made alternately facing towards the fence and turning away from it).

* Make sure that you ask your horse to march forward as soon as he has made each change of direction, so the pirouette really serves as a collecting and lightening exercise.

Exercise 2

* On the long side, ask for a half-pirouette, so that your horse ends up facing the way he has just come. Be sure to straighten him once he has completed the turn and to ask him to move energetically forward again.

* Once he has learnt to do this, you can use this as part of your everyday schooling – it’s a neat, quick way to change rein and has the advantage of rebalancing him at the same time.

Exercise 3

Make a quarter-pirouette in walk and immediately ask for an upward transition to trot (or canter). The increased collection and lightness produced by the pirouette will give you a more uphill and sparkling transition, resulting in a lighter, livelier gait.


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