Train your horse to bend correctly and ride correct figures
Every good rider understands the benefit of riding correct figures. Early on in a horse’s training he is introduced to the importance of traveling on straight lines, and bending around corners and on circles. Even when we follow the classic training scale to develop a young horse, we always prepare the horse by riding correct figures. Commonly, circles are not ridden well, especially by green riders and green horses. One of the differences between the educated rider and the novice is that the educated rider will play a more influential role in specifically, and continually, directing the path of travel of the horse.
That being said, let’s discuss Circle Points.
During my last clinic, I was surprised to find so many riders were not familiar with the concept of Circle Points. It is a wonderful training tool, and I have used it often as a precursor to other exercises and skills.
If you learn to ride Circle Points properly, your horse will learn to be bent correctly throughout the entire circle, and the circle will be round and the horse will be balanced. It’s always important to ride on a pre-determined path. That way you can determine if your horse is on the aids. Riding Circle Points is something every rider should practice. It helps you position the horse so he will be prepared to execute a correct figure, in this case a circle.
What Are Circle Points?
Let’s think of a circle as having four points: North, South, East, and West. Now, let’s add straight lines to connect these 4 points. At each point of the circle you will make sure your horse is “parallel”, or lined up evenly with bend of the circle. Other than that, you will ride from point to point on the lines connecting the circle points. (You must concentrate on keeping a regular rhythm throughout this exercise).