Flatwork plays an important part in any good showjumping round and a balanced and responsive horse is key to achieving an easier clear round. 

Katy Thomas presents an easy and simple exercise that she uses with her own horses whilst teaching. 

She uses the ‘Spiralling Circles’ exercises to help balance the horse, create correct bend and teach the rider to use their leg to aid instruction; such as moving the horse over. 

As it doesn’t require any equipment and can be easily incorporated into any schooling session or when warming your horse up it is an ideal exercise for most riders.

Spiralling Circles: 

In walk, trot or canter, depending on the ability of horse and rider, go onto a 20m circle. 

This exercise aims to get the horse to spiral in from a 20m circle to the smallest circle you can make and then push back out to a 20m circle only using your legs. 

1.Begin on a 20m, using your outside leg to push the horse over and create a smaller circle.

2.Once you have reached a circle that is about 5 to 10m wide ask your horse to stay on this circle for a minimum of 1 to 2 times round

Spirling circle 1

3.Once the horse is balanced on a small circle begin to spiral your horse back out to the 20m circle, this time using your inside leg. 

4.Once back on the 20m circle, circle go round once more and then ride large, giving your horse a bit of a break

Spirling circle 2 1

Once you have mastered it on one rein then do the same exercises on the opposite rein 

Build your self and your horse up by doing the exercise in walk first and progressing to trot then canter. Keep at it and remember to reward your horse, over time you will begin to reap the rewards of being on a far more balanced and responsive horse. Read more great schooling exrcises helping you enjoy your horse and your riding