Circle: The Aids

Riding aids 276x300 Circle: The AidsHorse on circle 232x300 Circle: The Aids

The aids:

  • The rider puts more weight on the inside seat bone, to take pressure away from the stretched outer back muscles.
  • The inside seat bone points down to where the horse should step with his inside hind leg.
  • The riders centre and point of weight is deep in the rider’s pelvis, pointing on the circle, like a compass giving direction to the movement to prevent the horse from turning to the inside.
  • The rider keeps his shoulders parallel to the shoulders of the horse, and his hips parallel to the hips of the horse.
  • The outer rein lies against the neck.
  • The inside leg of the rider is on the girth, asks the lateral bending of the horse and gives a little aid the moment the inside hind leg steps forward to make it step under the weight.
  • The inside rein is away from the neck and asks the bending of the neck.
  • The outside leg of the rider is behind the girth, maintains the lateral bending and prevents the hindquarter to fall out.

Make the circle bigger

By making the circle bigger, the horse learns to understand and combine the inside rein and inside leg of the rider.

Make the circle smaller

Then the horse learns to understand outside rein and outside leg by making the circle smaller.

Changing the lead through the circle

When the horse allows the outside aids to make the circle smaller, the horse can be asked to change the lead through the centre of the circle.

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to “Circle: The Aids”

  1.   Angela Galesicon 06 Apr 2010 at 21:08

    Thank you for the concise explanation.

  2.   Angela Galesicon 06 Apr 2010 at 21:11

    How would you explain the aids for circle increase and decrease please?

  3.   Marijke de Jongon 09 Apr 2010 at 00:47

    The circle can be decreased by your outer rein pressing against the outer shoulder and little pressure from your outer leg. The circle can be increased with your inside rein against the neck and little pressure of the inside leg.

  4.   Angela Galesicon 13 Apr 2010 at 13:08

    Thank you. Is this aiding used when riding with both reins or with the reins in one hand? Does the one hand riding only start with more advanced training and when using a curb bit as opposed to just the cavesson?

  5.   Theresa Kingon 26 Jun 2012 at 20:09

    In looking at the picture included, it seems that the rider’s is collapsed on the inside with inside shoulder dropped. I am often in this position as well. Is it something to be corrected or a natural result of the horses position? Should the rider’s shoulders be horizontal to the plane but left shoulder slightly back and right shoulder slightly forward to imitate the horse’s shoulders?

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