Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, October 4, 2007 09:17 AM
Yesterday I have read in Charles de Kunffy's book "Athletic Development of the Dressage Horse" about an interesting exercise You spiral in riding half-pass and spiral out in shoulder-in. I worked on it today. First, I just rode spirals in and out on a single track to get a feel of a spiral. When I started doing half-pass I came to the 10 meter circle from 20 meter circle in a few steps. I spiraled in very quickly. It wasn't really a spiral. I have just half-passed to the center until I have reached my small circle. Technically, it is OK. Because 5 meters difference between 20 and 10 meter circles gives you only so much distance to half-pass. What I could do is intersperse half-pass steps with forward steps to be really sure I'm telling him where to go how to get there. Anyway, he got the idea very quickly and I found his half-pass steps are very nice springy and good ground covering (that is why we got to the center so quickly). Spiraling out in shoulder-in was fun. I asked for bigger more bouncy steps. I needed that because he was slowing down in the last half-pass steps near the center. Thinking of the work now I have realized I should have stayed on 10 m circle for at least one revolution before asking for the shoulder-in. However, I did let him stretch when we reached 20 m circle and extended his trot to the other side of the arena where I tried the exercise again. This exercise gave him a lot of elevation and buoyancy in his steps. I think I need to do it more often, because that is missing from our half-passes. He can start nicely and then loose energy and spring and sending him more forward doesn't help he just tenses up. This exercise let me move him around, collect him, extend him in the very short time and still give him opportunities to stretch. I loved it.
Happy riding...
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