How to get your horse stronger for better pirouettes?
Ollie is competing medium, which is third level, and we’re really training towards the Prix St. George, and the Prix St. George requires half pirouettes.
So we need to start getting his hind leg a lot stronger, and everyone keeps asking me, “Well, what’s a really advanced exercise that you tend to do with a lot of your older horses?” So I thought I’d show you an exercise that we do all the time, which is called a working canter pirouette.
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Cool, so Ollie is competing medium, which is third level, and we’re really training towards the Prix St. George, and the Prix St. George requires half pirouettes. So we need to start getting his hind leg a lot stronger, and everyone keeps asking me, “Well, what’s a really advanced exercise that you tend to do with a lot of your older horses?” So I thought I’d show you an exercise that we do all the time, which is called a working canter pirouette.
So we’re just going to ask for canter and get the normal canter. But this is just a normal 18-meter circle. And then what I’m going to do is put my hands to the outside, and you can see the minute I did that. I’m going to ask his quarters to come in. I’m going to ask him to keep the bend. Now I haven’t collected him. It’s because I’ve put his body in a position where he has to collect. Good boy. Then you bring him around again. Good boy. So a normal 18-meter circle again. Then you put him in position again.
You can see he doesn’t like it. Good boy. He finds it hard. Yeah, I know. But you’ve also got to be able to give with the reins, but keep him connected. Good boy. Okay, keep your round. Keep roundness. He goes, “I can’t, it’s too hard.” There you go. Good boy. Then out again.
We will do that, oh, 10 to 20 times each side every time I ride him, cause you can see, he’s really weak at it. His hind legs almost trot behind. It’s not good. He needs to kick the jump. He needs to find that exercise effortlessly, that when I can put him into that position, he goes … and flies up with his shoulders and takes all that energy that was going forward underneath him. Whereas right now, he kind of stops and goes, “Aaah!”
So I just wanted to just show you what it looks like when it’s not perfect. He’s not built for this. He finds this work hard, and it’s not perfect. But that’s how yours is going to look as well. Just because it’s not going to look perfect doesn’t mean you should avoid it or doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on it.
Now that’s an advanced movement. It’s only for people that are up to this level. If you’re in prelim going, “Should I be working on that?” No, not yet. It’ll come.
Enjoy your training, and let me know what you think in the comments.
So I trust that helps. Remember, if you guys need any help with steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do A, how do you do B, how do you do C, I’ve got a free training class that tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.