In your warm up, aim to find an adjustable canter. You should move up and down the gears and go into the exercise knowing your horse is able to shorten and lengthen when asked.
Start by popping over one of the poles on either side of the arena add the others as you feel confident, comfortable and can happily complete the whole circle.
We use this exercise for consistency, balance and quick thinking.
The aim is to find 5 strides in every gap. If a mistake happens, stay on the circle, react and adjust quickly in order to get back to your 5 nice level strides.
You must stay straight and strong with your body and work out where you may be falling out or falling in if the 5 is coming short or long.
Do at least 4 or 5 circles and then break and try on the other rein.
Coming off the circle to the straight side, I can test myself to make sure I’m directing my horse and he knows he’ll be going straight and not round the circle by adding a guide pole.
Your striding will change slightly here, coming off the circle it will be 6 strides to the next but it’s also possible to create 5.
Once I’m happy with the poles on the ground I pop them up to cavalleti and recreate the same exercise.
The horse I’m riding here does it ever so slightly on the outside because he’s big and young but the better and more advanced he gets, the straighter his work will become.