Dressage 101

15- and 10-meter circles
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Now that you are confident in the 20-meter circles, figure eights and serpentines, it is time to add some more advanced figures. Let us begin with 15- and 10-meter circles.

As with the 20-meter circle, your horse will be challenged to stretch and bend his body. The decreased size of these circles makes the challenge even greater as the horse moves on the bending line by stepping up and under with his inside hind.

As he travels on a smaller and smaller circle, the amount of weight on his inside hind increases. When moving properly, the horse can travel more upright on the circle, allowing his rib cage to move outward—the correct basis for developing bend in his body.

Spiraling In

Now that you have a better understanding of what will get more difficult, let us review the geometry of the 15- and 10-meter circles by working through an exercise that involves spiraling in. We will begin in walk so you have plenty of time to work through each step.

1. On the left rein, ride down the track toward B.

2. At B, ride a 20-meter circle (covered in the January issue).

3. Make sure to hit your four key points to maintain geometry: B, 2 meters in from I, E, 2 meters in from L and B.

4. At B, ride a 15-meter circle.

5. Using B as your take-off point, bring your circle in 5 meters from your original circle.

6. At the half-way point, aim to hit the far quarterline instead of E.