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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Creating Symmetry in Your Horse #1

In my Facebook Group, Open Minds Dressage (check it out, all riders welcome), We recently began a group challenge with three exercises to work on symmetry and creating straightness in your horse. The first exercise was riding a 20 meter circle with an object (bucket, cone, etc.) to mark the middle of the circle and a marker on the outside of the circle. At the marker, you start counting steps for a whole circle. Repeat the other direction to see how close you could get to the same number each way. I created the following tips to help you work on that!

Imagine you have a string attached to your belt buckle from the center point of the circle. That string has to keep the same tension as you go around the circle. You can visualize this string as a magnetic or energy beam.

If you start by placing your body exactly where you want it to be, your horse will follow you. Rather than you being the passenger and then trying to correct your horse when he falls in or out.

  • Your soft eyes gaze around the circle. (For heaven's sake, stop staring at his pretty mane! 😆)

  • Your chest and belly button points around the circle line you want to create.You keep the same distance between your hip and shoulder on BOTH sides.

  • A soft, even contact on both reins.

Before your ride, start by visualizing your perfect circles and how you are going to ride them. Really feel all of the things mentioned. Practice this. Studies show that mental practice is a very powerful tool!

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