Perfect Circles?!
 
 

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Perfect Circles?!

This is a discussion on Perfect Circles?! within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    04-04-2012, 01:01 AM
  #1
Started
Perfect Circles?!

So I've been told to work on my circles...what are some things to do to practice making perfect circles?

My horse likes to drift a lot & I really wanna fix it before it gets really bad...any advice?
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    04-04-2012, 12:12 PM
  #2
Started
Balance balance balance!
You want to just do circles and figure 8's and serpentines. Make sure you are riding balanced, not leaning this way or that, or too far forward, or too far back.
Do keep him from falling out of the circle, support him with your outside rein, just hold it snug, and when he goes to fall out of the circle, give him some more leg (just a squeeze!) and close your hand on that outside rein, giving it a little "wiggle" has the same effect. Refrain from just pulling and pulling on your inside rein, that makes it worse, keep the steady cue on that rein, and use that outside rein as a little bit of a support system.

I'm riding a 3 year old mare right now that fell out of her circles reaaaally bad, and I just did all kinds of circles, big, small, spirals, blah blah blah, and supported her with my outside rein like I described above and it really helped. I'll hopefully get a little video of doing the above on her soon...
     
    04-04-2012, 12:33 PM
  #3
Started
Here's a video of my dun baby last year when I first started working on her circles.
You see how she likes to fall into her circles, and they look crazy and unbalanced? I'll get a video of her today. Her circles are much more balanced, and she doesn't look all over the place.

     
    04-04-2012, 10:52 PM
  #4
Started
And this is today's footage:

Squiggy: Lead changes and MORE - YouTube
     
    04-04-2012, 11:06 PM
  #5
Trained
I learned in a clinic once that you should always look to the next 1/4 of your circle and it will help you be more accurate. You shouldnt look more than a 1/4 way around or less. It seems to help me !
     
    04-04-2012, 11:20 PM
  #6
Trained
Can you water the arena so you can see your tracks?

QH gave you some sound advice. Stay balanced, look up, do NOT put weight to the inside or the outside. Stay centered. Hold your rein pommel width apart, if you're in a snaffle take contact and if you're not in a snaffle, get in a snaffle. Here are the roles of your two reins:

Inside rein: Keep the horse from diving in, keep the horse from blowing out, keep the horse gently bent, lift the shoulder.

Outside rein: Keep the horse from diving in, keep the horse from blowing out, helping balance.

Now both reins should remain with the same amount of pressure. Both used to get the vertical flexion in his nose and to keep him balanced. Hence they both keep the horse from diving in or blowing out. Squeeze with your legs until you get the hind end engagement; maybe a little more inside leg to encourage the horse to soften his rib cage.

Finally, all these things together....Look up, keep the rein pressure steady, inside leg for bend and outside leg to keep from bowing. Try and get a watered arena so you can see EXACTLY where you are tracking. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a perfect circle in wet sand.
     
    04-04-2012, 11:24 PM
  #7
Trained
I have a reining book by Bob Loomis. In it he describes how he accidently figured out a way to ride and teach a perfect circle.
He went out and measured and drew a perfect circle(large enough for a horse to lope) in the dirt. When he rode he kept that horse on that circle that he drew in the dirt. As long as the horse was traveling on that path he left him alone. If he leaned in, or bowed out correct it, as soon as he was correct leave them alone. This not only teaches a perfect circle but it teaches a horse to be responsible for himself and you don't have to babysit him or hold him onto the circle.
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    04-04-2012, 11:31 PM
  #8
Started
I love that idea, unfortunately I can't water down the arena (it's not mine) but I suppose I might be able to draw a big circle. (any suggestions how?)
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    04-04-2012, 11:31 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Can you water the arena so you can see your tracks?

QH gave you some sound advice. Stay balanced, look up, do NOT put weight to the inside or the outside. Stay centered. Hold your rein pommel width apart, if you're in a snaffle take contact and if you're not in a snaffle, get in a snaffle. Here are the roles of your two reins:

Inside rein: Keep the horse from diving in, keep the horse from blowing out, keep the horse gently bent, lift the shoulder.

Outside rein: Keep the horse from diving in, keep the horse from blowing out, helping balance.

Now both reins should remain with the same amount of pressure. Both used to get the vertical flexion in his nose and to keep him balanced. Hence they both keep the horse from diving in or blowing out. Squeeze with your legs until you get the hind end engagement; maybe a little more inside leg to encourage the horse to soften his rib cage.

Finally, all these things together....Look up, keep the rein pressure steady, inside leg for bend and outside leg to keep from bowing. Try and get a watered arena so you can see EXACTLY where you are tracking. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a perfect circle in wet sand.
Thanks for all your advice (don't worry..I'm in a snaffle! )
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    04-04-2012, 11:35 PM
  #10
Trained
I had terrible circles until one of my trainers told me to ride a "stop sign" shape. I suppose that goes with the above post about not looking too far ahead......definitely works-but now I will try Loomis' trick!
     

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