Discipline, Details and the 20m Circle.

I am riding , training and competing at the FEI Intermediare 1 level. So riding a 20 meter circle should be a simple task for me . Right?

Not so fast. In a lesson this week I warmed up while my coach Belinda Trussell, watched. I must have been a bit ‘la di da’ about my circles because I heard that they were just not good enough. Belinda, who is after all a two time Olympian, pays attention to details and expects real discipline in her students’ riding.

She told me, in the nicest possible way, we were going to work on those circles and she set out some cones. I had to ride the circle placing Biasini only 1 1/2 feet away from the cones. Once I got that Belinda added in riding half of the circle in shoulder fore. Here is a video.

We worked on the 20 meter circle to the right as well. The right is the more difficult rein for both Biasini and me. He needs more support going to the right. For turns and circles I have to give him support with my right leg so he does not fall in or motorcycle around the turn. Unfortunately my right leg is my weaker leg. I could blame my age (70) or my replaced right hip but basically it is just my weaker leg. It is what it is! In this video you can see Belinda has marked out a smaller circle, of about 12 meters, and asks me to ride it in a slight travers (haunches in) position.

So there you have it! This is a terrific way to reinforce the discipline of riding a correct 20 meter or 12 meter circle. Adding in shoulder-fore positioning or haunches-in positioning helps me to focus on keeping control over every stride . What is all this in aid of?

It is in aid of getting this right. The pirouette. The smallest of all the circles.

These exercises help me to prepare for riding a good pirouette. The details and the discipline of these exercises will teach me to ride each stride. Do I need more leg so as not to stall, more bend, less bend , more inside leg to stop spinning? Every stride there are questions. I need the answers before the questions are even asked.

And dressage looks so easy from the ground!!

21 Comments Add yours

  1. MAP195 says:

    good one…fantastic share

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dprastka says:

    Practice makes perfect! And dressage may look effortless but it is so hard. You are so lucky to be training with an Olympian, she’s so amazing and I love listening to her and watching you ride!! You two look BEAUTIFUL! Biasini is the best partner. Thank you for sharing! ❤️🐴🐎❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Diana for your very supportive comment. Belinda is an excellent coach and teacher. I’m happy you get something from the video and listening to what she has to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cigarman501 says:

    I’m a former football/baseball coach. Lou Holtz, a very successful college football coach once said, “Take care of the little things and the big things will never come up.” Seems like we’ve both learned that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I had not heard that quote before but it certainly rings true, Thanks for sharing it.

      Like

  4. I think you are amazing. We don’t give in to age, or health issues. Congratulations to both of you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Many thanks Susie! You inspire me and I hope I can be a small beacon of light for you too!

      Like

  5. Irene says:

    I find your videos so interesting and your explanations are helpful for those of us who have no idea what to look for. How much time is spent each day training in preparation for a competition like this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I ride five days a week and if in a lesson for about 45 minutes to an hour. I do the same when I am training on my own. I like to do lots of mental visualization on my own time rather than drilling thr horse through the movements over and over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Irene says:

        Thanks, Anne. As in any other sport or art, it obviously takes time of building on the fundamentals. You must love it to be so devoted to it. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. anne leueen says:

          I do love it and it is something that inspires me to keep fit and just being at the barn around horses and then riding always lifts my spirits.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. O.D. says:

    You know, Belinda may be seeing all the areas that need work because she’s a two time Olympian. But to an untrained eye like mine the riding is elegant and perfect 🙂

    In fact, if I tried a hand at riding a horse i’d probably be buckled off within the first minute. Okay maybe thats an exaggeration lol

    I love seeing your videos. Always great to see you two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I don’t think you would be bucked off unless you got on a very young horse that didn’t know what its job was. But thank you for your kind compliments. Belinda has a keen eye and she is such a good rider it is an honor for me to work with her and to have her put in so much effort into teaching me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The so-called “easy” activities can be hard in reality…the skilled folks make these events look easy. Well done by you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much. I appreciate this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Lexi and I are just starting with dressage so I can relate to the 20 meter circle challenge lol. I’m going to set up some cones for us! Great exercise. We have more difficulty to the right too. It’s our weaker side for both of us.
    Good luck with the competition! You two are an amazing team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for commenting. I think the cones are a big help .

      Like

  9. Wishing you all the very best!!

    Like

  10. Emma Cownie says:

    I would say that good dressage looks effortless but that’s not the same as easy!

    Liked by 1 person

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