From Endurance to Dressage
Or, at least do a turn on the haunches. The turn on the haunches, according to the US Equestrian rule book, is "For younger horses that are still not able to show collected walk, the ‘turn on the haunches’ is an exercise to prepare the horse for collection. The ‘turn on the haunches’ is executed out of medium walk prepared by half-halts to shorten the steps a little and to improve the ability to bend the joints of the hindquarters. The ‘turn on the haunches’ can be executed on a larger diameter (approximately one meter) than the pirouette in walk, but the demands of the training scale concerning rhythm, contact, activity and straightness are the same."
Speedy and I only just started schooling these this year. To the left, he has no problem, especially since he wants to carry his haunches left anyway. To the right (as pictured) has been more of a challenge.
Most of our problem comes from a lack of forward. Rather than take those small, supporting steps with his hind leg, he wants to step backwards and sort of just pivot. Here's our first attempt at the "hard way" which was actually pretty decent.
I know this went as well as it did because he was already well in front of my leg. As we kept finessing it, it got harder and harder until Chemaine finally had me do them on the rail. Once we did it on the rail, I had a much better feel for how to "finish" the turn.
The feel I need for Speedy is one of walking forward with the inside hind into the outside rein. When I rode this movement by myself on Sunday, we got stuck to the right like usual. I tried tapping his outside shoulder with the whip, but it didn't help. All of it sudden it dawned on me that he had lost the forward. I asked for a medium walk. Once he was forward again, I half halted and then encouraged him to move his shoulders by tapping with the whip. Viola! Problem solved - for today, anyway.
More on the lesson tomorrow.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: