I am still actively riding and competing, and I don’t like asking other riders to do things I wouldn’t do myself. So the day after the show, I recruited Patrick to help me do some half turns in reverse, turn on the forehand and other flatwork exercises (see video). Notice when we do turn on the forehand, I let him take a quick pause in the middle after he takes a nice big cross-over step in the back. There is no need to fluster the horse by rushing through a turn on the forehand. I find it is best to take it one step at a time, especially if the horse is just learning to do them or is rusty.
- Circling (you can do 10 meter, 20 meter, bigger is easier)
- Figure eight
- Volte (little circle, ~6 meters or 20 ft)
- Serpentine (I love this one, see my post on "Serpentine over fences", video on hunterjumperconnect youtube channel)
- Broken line
- Half turn
- Half turn in reverse (yup, it’s in there)
- Turn on the Forehand
- Turn on the Haunches
- Change through the circle
- Flying change
- Counter canter
Work with these exercises over the winter and you will have more interesting flat work rides and a much improved horse by spring! If you can only have on book on the subject of hunters and equitation, “Hunter Seat Equitation” by George Morris is the one to have. It would make a great Christmas gift to yourself or the rider in your life.