This exercise was focused on suppling Encore and getting him forward while skipping the heavy, head-waggy phase.
V: 10m circle right, 2nd half of the circle set up to ride across the diagonal
V-M: Medium walk across the diagonal, haunches in (to the right)
C: Canter left
S: 15m circle left
S-F: Diagonal line, trot when between L and F
V-R: Diagonal line in trot
S: 10m circle left, 2nd half of the circle set up to ride across the diagonal
S-F: Medium walk across diagonal, haunches in (to the left)
A: Canter right
V: 15m circle right
V-M: Diagonal line, trot between I and M
S-P: Diagonal line in trot
When starting out, ride this in walk a few times, skipping the canter parts. Instead of the canter circle, go back into the 10m circle and then across the diagonal.
Confirm that your 10m circle is in shoulder-fore and your horse’s trajectory is searching for the diagonal line as you come back to the rail
Make sure you can walk straight across the diagonal before you had the haunches in.
Add haunches in in walk for 1 time each way and make sure your geometry and straightness stays the same. Then add the trot.
Once you’ve done each side in trot, then add in the canter circle and extra diagonal line.
How we did it:
1-2 times each side, just in walk without haunches in (perfecting the circle bend to diagonal line straightness)
1-2 times each side in walk, with haunches in
1-2 times each side in trot
3 times each side, full exercise with canter
How it felt:
The 10m walk circle felt easy and doable because it was not volte size, which is what we’d been practicing. Marching straight across the diagonal in haunches in, making it to the letter was more difficult. Encore’s R haunches in was harder to create while keeping good rhythm.
In the trot, at first the 10m trot circle felt quick and small. It was got easier to hit the marks on the circle and make it to the diagonal line as he suppled. Again, the the R haunches in was stiffer and a bit heavier than the L. But, focusing on a specific pattern helped me not get in a tug-of-war. Also, Ginger had me ride a smaller, slower trot; to focus more on geometry, positioning, and accuracy rather than being in a showier, more forward trot. This let me leave him alone so he could find his own balance without me arguing over the length of the reins. He came up really nicely and shortened the reins for me rather than me trying to push him into a big trot and then hanging on him to keep his head up.
The first canter transitions were a bit awkward. I’ve mostly been cantering out of the walk and had trouble with the coordination of the transition from trot. I think Encore wasn’t expecting to canter, he was assuming trot through the corner back to the next circle. However, he got very prompt as we wen through the patter several times.
His canter became lovely–he compressed himself and turned on the circle very easily. We missed the heavy phase of our ride which was awesome. As I would look around the circle to set up he would follow my seat and then when we came back to the diagonal, he would rebalance himself and lift himself across the diagonal. I was surprised by how much he came up to me when I put my leg on instead of going down. The focus of the pattern and positioning suppled him really well, but also let me leave him alone. With my focus being on the next piece, I would set him up and then not bug him so he compressed himself and came up to me instead of us pulling back and forth on each other.