School Figures and Exercises
ExercisesSchool Figures
Establishing Calm Small circles (10m or less) left and right on a long/loose rein
Establishing Forwardness Large school figures (20m), riding full school and long diagonals
Establishing Straightness Symmetrical school figures, riding on the inside track or 3/4 line
Improving supplenessChange of rein out of the circle (10-20m) or within the circle (20m) or through 1/2 circles. 3 or 4 loop serpentines and single loops on the long side
Improving impulsion (Lengthening)Lengthening on a diagonal or on the long side.
Improving engagement (Shortening)Short turns and small circles down to 10m Riding 1/4 voltes in the corners 6 loop serpentines - advanced shape
Improving straightness (Leg yield)on the 3/4 line; from the track to the centre line and back to the track
Improving bend in ribs (Leg yield) On a circle or across the diagonal Decrease-increase the circle
Improving alignment (Shoulder fore)Riding a square On the track and 3/4 line
Improving bend of hind limb (shoulder fore/shoulder in)On the track/3/4 line and forward onto a volte (6-10m). Changes of direction through small turns and circles (6-10m)
Improving collection (travers, renvers, half pass)Travers on the track and forward onto a volte (6m); shoulder in down the track, half volte, half pass back to the track.. Half pass across the diagonal; from outside track to centre line and back; from centre line to half marker and back to centre line.
ProblemSolution
Big problemSmall circles
Horse speeds up or runsDecrease the circle Ask for walk
Horse lacks forwardnessIncrease the circle and go full school Ask for canter
Horse doesn't listen to the rider Rider needs to pay attention to the work
Horse cuts/falls inAsk horse to look in Leg yield from inside leg
Horse cuts cornersSmall circle in the corners as above Ask for leg yield/shoulder fore before corner
Horse cuts/falls outStraighten horse, leg yield from outside leg
Horse gets stuck on the track Ride a 5-10m loop on long side
Horse has difficulty changing the bendRide a 10m circle immediately after changing direction. Leg yield from the new inside leg
Horse loses balance in change of direction/bendRide a couple of straight strides then shoulder fore before going in the new direction Make a transition to walk before changing
Horse hollows in transitions Ride transitions on a small circle
Horse does not engage hind legsRide upward transitions with the help of leg yield or turn on the forehand
Horse is on the forehandRide quick transitions as above
Horse leans on (left) rein Leg yield from left leg while softening the left rein and gently keeping the right rein
Horse drops (left) reinLeg yield from the right leg while gently keeping the left rein and softening the right rein
Horse goes croup to the right Straighten horse and ride shoulder fore on the right rein and croup left (travers) on the left rein
Horse goes shoulders to the leftSee above
Horse runs through outside shoulder in shoulder inRide shoulder in with a slight counter bend Ride a halt in the shoulder in angle.
Horse creeps forward towards the centre line in shoulder inLeg yield back to the track Ride a halt in the shoulder in angle
Horse runs through inside shoulder in half pass and/or loses bend.Ride a shoulder in straight forward (ie parallel to the long side) Ride forward onto a circle with bend

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