Figure It Out

   The best way to get your horse supple and listening to you while you are riding him is by doing figures. The purpose of doing figures is to get the horse responding to you. If you are just riding around the ring, it can get boring for both of you. You can use figures to get your horse off of the forehand. It will also build your relationship as well because you'll be learning how to properly communicate with each other as well.

   The first figure is the serpentine. What's great with this figure is that you can change it up. By changing the amount of loops, you can change direction and get your horse to turn even tighter.
3 loop serpentine
Picture from:
http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/equestrianworld/page17.phtml


   Notice how at the centreline there is a moment where the horse is straight. That means that your horse should not be bent the whole way through the exercise, which is a common mistake. A serpentine will start at  either A or C and then you will start to turn your horse to the middle of the ring. Once you are there, let your horse straighten for a few steps and then bend him the other way.

   Another figure you could do is the figure eight.
Picture from:
http://www.limebrook.com/figureofeight.html
   This figure will help you work on balance and bending. Make sure to work on keeping your horse on as perfect of a circle as you can. You don't want your circles to become ovals. You can also customise the size of your circles. Start with a 20 metre circle and then work to the 15 and 10 metre circles. This exercise can also become more difficult than just the simple spiral circle.

   What is so great with these figures is that you can modify them. You can increase it's difficulty. Try working on transitions, adding jumps and lengthening or shortening your stride. Just because they are pretty basic figures does not mean they can only benefit beginners. These figures can help riders of all disciplines and levels.

   I hope this informations was useful to you and I hope you are all doing well. Thank you for reading my blog.

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