Bow Tie Exercise

Transitions are an invaluable method for lightening your horse's forehand. This exercise tests the suppleness, responsiveness, and balance of your horse.

How to to ride the exercise:

Pick up a left lead canter at C and ride up the arena's long side. Turn left at A and follow the center line all the way to E. Several strides away from the wall, transition to the trot and return to the centerline. Pick up the left lead canter again before reaching the center line and continue to C and then back to H. Your track will resemble a bow tie.

Here's what you should concentrate on:

When riding the hoops of your bow tie, keep your inside leg active to get a smooth, round corner.

Slow your body down and think "trot" as soon as you turn off the center line and towards E for a nice, calm downward transition.

As you approach E, sit up straight and ask your horse to do the same. Make use of your outside aids and request a perfectly square turn (think turn on the haunches).

Try not to cut the corner of your bow tie's second hoop by making sure your horse is balanced before your canter transition.

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