Vari­a­tion: Two Cav­al­letti on a Bend­ing Line

Practical Horseman - - The Ride of Your Life -

Ride the line about five times in each di­rec­tion. Ride to the cen­ter of each pole on the same track ev­ery time, mak­ing ad­just­ments in your can­ter to pro­duce the de­sired num­ber of strides. Turn the page to see pho­tos of the ex­er­cise.

To be­gin this ex­er­cise on a bend­ing line, I ap­proach the first cav­al­letti in a nor­mal can­ter. In the air, I turn to look at the sec­ond cav­al­letti. Chance has lost his straight­ness, shift­ing his body slightly to the right and swap­ping leads in the air. (No­tice his left front leg is higher than his right, which means he’s chang­ing to his stronger left lead.) This is a great ex­am­ple of how this ex­er­cise re­veals your horse’s strengths and weak­nesses so you know how to plan for what he might do in the show ring. The next time I ride this line, I’ll use my core strength and in­side leg to straighten his body. As soon as he lands, I use my in­side leg to push him back out to the track and then ask for a fly­ing change. Rather than let­ting that dis­rupt our rhythm and bal­ance, I keep my eye on the sec­ond cav­al­letti and fo­cus on main­tain­ing the same can­ter we had in the ap­proach. As a re­sult, Chance con­tin­ues smoothly along the bend­ing line. Over the sec­ond cav­al­letti, I keep slightly firmer pres­sure on my in­side leg to re­mind Chance to stay straight in his body in the air and land on the right lead. I’ll use this knowl­edge in the show ring, re­mem­ber­ing to be care­ful to keep him from div­ing to the right when rid­ing bend­ing lines on his right lead.

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