Ride your corners!
Don’t cut the corner!
Ride deep into the corner!
We’ve all heard these phrases. At least I have and I’m sure you have as well.
I mean, we have to ride deep into the corner, right? Or not?
A member of Rien van der Schaft’s online program asked us how deep she should ride into the corner.
Find out what Rien’s answer was:
How deep you ride into the corner depends on the level you’re at
And that has to do with the weight distribution of your horse and how much he has his weight on his hind legs.
As you can probably imagine, a horse in collection has a smaller turning circle than a young, inexperienced horse.
With a young horse you cut the corners on purpose.
And it doesn’t only depend on your training level.
It also depends on the phase of training at that moment.
So when you’re just warming up your horse, you tend to ride long lines and big circles instead of small turns.
That implies you also don’t ride deep into the corners with a horse on a high level during warm-up.
Only when you’ve completed your warm-up and you’re horse is collected, you can ride deep corners.
But why is this the case?
Why can’t you ride deep corners with a young horse or during warm-up?
It all has to do with the inside hind leg that has to come under the body.
For your horse to be able to go through a corner and bend in his body, he has to bring his inside hind leg forwards and under the body.
And that requires a lot of training.
When you progress in training and you’re getting more and more collection, your horse will also be able to bend more.
And so you can also rider more sharp corners.
Sharp corners have a higher gymnastic value
because the inside hind leg has to be brought further under the body. At the same time, that invites your horse to bring more weight to the hind legs.
When you’re in that process, you will start to use the corners more and more to get more collection.
And with the inside hind leg coming more under the body, you get your horse more on the outside rein.