(“Which term would you prefer?)
(“I just couldn’t stand it anymore!”)
BILL— That’s what the classical people say, but in real life sometimes it’s just not possible. Horses come to their riders in all orders of disarray and confusion. Some of them have been behaving that way for so long that the habit is deeply ingrained and not easily susceptible to re-training.
(“. . . it can also be true.”)
(“. . . just because you’ve signed on with a control freak .”)
(continued from last month)
If you are having trouble with canter pirouettes, the solution is usually not to do more of them. The question, however, is what to do instead. My answer is to list all the elements of the relationship with your horse which you need to perform a pirouette correctly. Then remembering the Vending Machine analogy from DRESSAGE Unscrambled, devise specific exercises which test that each of the reactions you need are present in him.
(“You are not doing him any favors.”)
BILL— Here’s the scoop on pirouettes. Most of the time if you’re having problems with them, it has to do with the quality of the canter. Is it collected enough? Is it balanced enough? Can your horse keep enough jump behind, maintaining the tempo while not being held back by the reins as you make his strides shorter? These are things that you must practice over and over, building his strength and confidence before you try to put him too much on the spot or do too many strides in a row.
(” Not according to the FEI, however, . . “)
(“There are only so many pirouettes in a horse’s hocks.”)