28.8.17

Riding exercise of the month: diamond pattern

During my most recent lesson with Jenny whilst I was warming up Vallu I was also watching the previous lesson and I saw them do a fantastic exercise which swiftly became my riding exercise of the month! Riding a diamond pattern has made a big difference to both boys as they've both been more balanced and more engaged a lot quicker.
After my 10 minute walk, followed by my 'canter and jog' warm up I have been riding this diamond pattern every day since the lesson and to get the best out of this exercise, pay attention and make sure you are using your seat to turn the horse at each corner, rather than using the reins. Jenny shouted "SHOULDERS!!" several times during this exercise to make sure that the rider was turning her seat effectively by reminding the rider to turn not just her hips but the rest of her body too. It also helps to look where you're going and turn your head and shoulders too, especially if you're doing this in canter. I've also tried doing this a couple of times in counter canter and it's not easy! 😅
To get the most accurate and straight section between each turn, it helps if you ride as if you intended to ride straight through the fence at each letter, and definitely don't start to turn early otherwise the horse will drift out through the outside shoulder. Also, Basse (who sometimes likes to pretend to be a snake and refuses to go straight 🐍) has to be ridden by thinking about steering his withers towards the next letter/corner rather than turning his head and neck because otherwise we look like a mess! Vallu is ace at this exercise, so when riding him this exercise is a bit for me just to remind myself to focus on using my leg aids and seat more effectively early in my rides. And... it also means I have a lovely straight forward going horse afterwards! ⬇️
Do you have a certain exercise you use regularly? Has it made any difference?

8 comments:

  1. this looks.... deceptively difficult lol

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    1. It was but once you've done it a few times it's not so bad! I've seen a huge improvement by riding this often!!

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  2. What a great exercise!! I always love serpentines with transitions in them, and small circles ridden off a basic pattern. Anything to keep my horses focused on me and thinking!

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    1. Throwing in small circles every where is the best way to keep them on their toes (hooves)!

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  3. Not really on topic, but oh my lord, the maroon set is so beautiful! Maroon is my favorite color!

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    1. Ahh thank you! It's currently my favourite set!

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  4. This is so interesting. A lot of our horses will cut the corners so I'm always trying to keep them on the outside as much as possible. To do a diamond with balance and your seat sounds like fun and definitely something I would try.

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    1. Glad this could help you! I love this exercise for keeping control over the outside shoulder.

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