Every equestrian can
agree that riding a
perfectly round circle
in a rhythmic gait is
harder than it seems.
Bodybuilding on a Circle
Back muscles on the inside of the
curve have to contract while those on
the outside need to lengthen. Simultaneously, his oblique muscles on the
sides of the ribcage engage to balance
the trunk. These muscles help the
horse lift his back and move freely
with his hind legs. Also, the inside
hip lowers and moves forward, which
increases load on that respective leg
creating strength and power.
Use the following exercises to find
your way to perfect circles, and your
horse’s body will thank you in return.
Exercise No. 1:
This exercise helps keep the horse
organized between the guideposts of the
rider’s legs, especially the outside leg that
shows him the boundary of the circle.
Many circles go wrong because the
horse drifts outward and enlarges one
side of the figure. Using quick variations
in figures, this exercise prevents that.
❚ Begin by riding once around a
20-meter circle in working trot
❚ Then immediately ride a
❚ Aim to ride the sides of your
square very straight and the corners nearly 90 degrees.
❚ Then go back to your 20-meter
circle, riding once around it.
❚ Repeat the square.
❚ Continue this sequence until
both figures improve.