“I have a little exercise that Cristolot gave me this week and I’d like to work on it with you.” That Dear Readers, was my first clue that this “little” exercise might be simple but it would not be easy. My coach Belinda Trussell trains with multiple Olympian Christilot Boylen. Christilot seldom comes up with any “easy” exercises. So here we go!
- Starting from the side of the arena make a half circle to the right to the centerline.
- Go straight on the centerline.
- Change flexion and bend to the left and make a 10 meter circle to the left returning to the centerline.
- Go straight on the centerline and change flexion and bend to the right and make a 10 meter circle to the right.
EXERCISE AT THE TROT.
- Trot the 10 meter circle to the right and on reaching the centerline walk, straighten, then transition to trot for the 10 meter circle left.
- Repeat the pattern walking each time centerline is reached.
- Once that is clear then repeat without the transition to walk on the centerline.
EXERCISE AT THE CANTER
- Canter the 10 meter circle right and on reaching the centerline, transition to walk.
- Walk a few steps, straight, on the centerline.
- Transition to canter and circle left.
- Once this is being executed well repeat without the transition to walk on centerline. Instead straighten the horse, hollow to the new direction and ask for a flying change.
- Repeat with a flying change each time on the centerline.
Well, that doesn’t sound toooooo difficult does it? Well let me tell you it is a lot harder than it might appear. What it so hard about it?
- Riding a good 10 meter circle. Not an egg shape or a wibbly wobbly circle, a good, circular,10 meter circle.
- Riding the horse straight on the centerline. No quarters in or shoulders in. Straight!.
- Transitions must be good, balanced and clear with no change of the horse’s frame on either the downward or the upward transition.
Here is a video of the canter circles with a flying change on the centerline. You will see that my circles are larger than the 10 meters because getting Biasini straight for the change took me a few strides. Belinda was videoing this using my phone and teaching at the same time. She gives lots of instruction for the videos so that, at home, I can have the benefit of a second lesson.