If you master this exercise you'll be on your way to being able to place your horse exactly where you want him - essential for successful jumping.
You'll need two poles, set on opposite sides of a 20m circle eg at A and X or at X and C.
What to do
The object is to ride around the circle, in trot, ensuring that you cross each pole, exactly in the middle, and that each half of your circle is symmetrical.
Sounds easy? Well, you'll probably find that it's easier on one rein than the other. Then, you'll note that your horse may try to fall in on part of the circle or fall out in another area. It takes a fair bit of riding from someone to get their horse to perform very precise, symmetrical circles.
Some of the things you need to think about as you ride this exercise are:
* You'll need to keep a uniform bend in your horse's body as you ride the circle AND go over the poles
* You need to be aware of your own body as you ride this exercise
* Don't forget to ride this exercise on both reins until you are perfect on both!
REMEMBER that this exercise will help you place your horse exactly where you want him and make you very aware of how your horse can fall in and out around circles.
TROT POLES ON A CIRCLE - Exercise 2
This exercise moves on from trot poles on a circle, part one. Once you have mastered the first exercise add two more poles on to your 20m circle so that your circle is effectively split into four with equi-distance from pole to pole.
What to do
As before, ride over the centre of each pole, as you trot around the circle, ensuring that in each quadrant of the circle you ride the same number of strides. You also need to keep a correct bend throughout and maintain an even trot rhythm. As with the earlier exercise, ensure you work off both reins, if necessary spending extra time on the more difficult rein.
You want your horse to be equally comfortable on each rein. When he is, and can maintain the same rhythm and keep the correct bend throughout, with the same number of strides throughout each quadrant, and can achieve a perfect circle, you have successfully completed the exercise.
REMEMBER this exercise will be difficult for stiff, resistant horses but quietly persist and you will achieve your objective.
For more jumping exercises, tips and advice click here