RIDER CHALLENGE: Ride the "Cloverleaf"
As an Admin for "Riding Instructors Forum" (a Facebook Group with almost 6000 riding instructor members, worldwide), I've periodically posted rider challenges. So that others might enjoy them, I will post some of them here as well. Feel free to share, as long as it's with attribution. If you would like more information or assistance with any of the rider challenges, please let me know.
The "Cloverleaf" challenge is suitable for most riders and horses, and can be ridden at various gaits. Adjust the distance between the poles according to the horse or pony performing the exercise.
Enter the square at a walk or trot.
As you leave the second pole, track left.
Keep tracking left until you complete all four quadrants.
Repeat the exercise, this time, tracking right.
CENTERED RIDING® TIPS:
Strive to ride the pattern with a consistent rhythm and tempo and make each quadrant of the cloverleaf pattern the same shape and size. Pay attention to your building blocks (balance and alignment), as well as to the bend of the horse. Remember to plan your ride with soft eyes, ride the pattern from your center, and maintain quality breathing throughout the exercise.
How did it go? What did you discover? What happened when the rider forgot to breathe, looked down, or tried to steer with only the reins and not from the center?
How did the horse respond?
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