The pirouette is the smallest hindquarter-in circle. The hind legs stay in the centre of the circle and the shoulders make a larger circle. This way the pirouette is a turn around the hindquarter.
The horse remains equally bended through the spine from the neck to the tail during this exercise. The bending is in the direction of the movement.
The hind legs move over a smaller surface than the front legs. This makes the hind legs bend more and enables the horse to collect.
- The pirouette can be ridden in walk, trot, canter, piaffe and in terre à terre.
- There are ¼, ½ and complete pirouettes.
The canter pirouette is done in two, three, four or eight canter jumps. The pirouette in the Academic Art of Riding is done in eight jumps that correspond to the eight geometrical directions of the arena.