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Get more marks for your horses

Below you will see a great tips about marks by riding

Even if you horses does not have the flashiest of paces, you can maximise your marks by riding movements as correctly as possible. And this extra accuracy has a benefit at home too. A horse who is responsive to your aids, regardless of what you are doing is a far more pleasurable ride.

20 Metre Circle is a designed to highlight how supple and balanced your horse is. It’s important not to let your horse fall in or out through his shoulders. His hindquarters swing out. These are both common signs of a horse avoiding working through from behind and moving straight. Rather than thinking of riding a circle, ride a diamond shape and aim to hit each point for one stride before moving on the next. Looking up and around from point to point you will be able to ride a smooth continuous movement. Your horse should be moving away from your inside leg. At the same time it also important that you support him with your outside rein and outside leg. Do not restrict your 20 metre circle work to the ends of the arena. If you always ride your circles with three sides to support you, the chances are that your horse will develop a tendency to rely on the fence. Instead circle from mid way down the school. Stop any hanging to the ourside and using the wall as a security blanket.

Figures of eight are enough if you know how imagine riding a series of half circles with a couple of strides straight as you change direction through X. Before starting the movement ride deep into the first corner. This will help ensure the difference between the corner and the first half circle ais obvious. Then as with riding a circle pick out your markers and remember to change diagonal over X. Allow for a couple of strides completely straight before changing bend and moving off onto the opposite rein. Break the movement down into 4 half circles, using the core skill of riding 20 metre circle to keep the balance and rhythm through the entire movement and focus on the quality of the change of bend and direction.

Three loop sepentines by follow the same priciples of riding a figure of eight. Although of course that you are riding smaller half circles so the changes of bend and direction come around more quickly. The three turns should divide the school evenly and it’s important to ride the movement to make sure you and your horse are balanced. Look up and around the first turn keeping your horse working around your inside leg but controlling his hindquarters by placing your outside leg slightly behind the girth. A consistent contact on the outside rein will support your horse’s shoulder on the turn. As you cross the centre line ride straight for 4 or 5 strides before asking for the new direction and bend with the corresponding aids. It important that your horse works round your leg rather than you pulling him around the movement. Remember to change your diagonal with each change of direction.

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