Exercise 4 CIRCLES TO SETTLE
“Circles, especially those of 20m diameter, are a common schooling movement,” explains Katie. “There’s a reason for that — they help improve many aspects of your horse’s way of going, including softness, suppleness and engagement, but they have to be ridden correctly. “Riding circles is also useful when things are getting out of shape.”
How to ride it
1 With an inexperienced horse, stick with 20m circles until he’s balanced enough to go smaller. 2 To start with, ride your circle at one end of the school, using the markers to help you ride the correct shape and size. 3 Keep your inside leg on the girth to encourage forwardness and bend, and your outside leg just behind it, in case your horse tries to swing his quarters out. n4 Your horse should bend through his entire frame. n5 Ride the movement on both reins and then go large, riding a 20m circle wherever and whenever you want, changing the rein often — this helps to keep your horse interested.
The humble circle is an exercise that helps to settle your horse if things are getting out of shape