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Turn on the Haunches

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  • Turn on the Haunches

    I was reading the Janet Foy article about riding and scoring turn on the haunches in Dressage Today this morning (new issue) and I have a question. In the article, she seems to say that a correct turn on the haunches along the wall (for example) will have the horse completing the movement about 3' to the inside of the wall. She was VERY clear that the rider should not half pass back to the wall, but should walk straight back to the wall and then start the next TOH.

    I have always assumed that when my TOH ended to the inside of the starting point, I was doing it wrong / not tight enough behind. Can someone clarify? Did I misunderstand the article?

  • #2
    A TOH, just like a working canter pirouette, inscribes a small circle with the hind feet. If you only complete a 180 instead of a 360 you end up whatever diameter your circle is off from where you started. A walk pirouette or canter pirouette would inscribe a smaller circle than a TOH or working canter pirouette.

    If you read DR112 you'll see in detail what Janet is talking about in section 10. The diameter for a TOH is described as 1m which is about 3'. The rules also state halfpassing back should result in a deduction of points.



    • Original Poster

      Thank you, but neither the image in DR112 nor the image in Janet's article shows the 180 degree TOH ending 3 feet (1m) away from the wall...it shows it ending 1m down the wall. But that's not what the article talks about. It talks about how to get back to the wall. Hence my confusion.


      • #4
        It makes sense in my head but I kind of stink at explaining things with words so I apologize. I do understand you confusion 100%.

        Here's a video that demonstrates a 1/2 pirouette in the canter. You'll notice that she starts on an inside track and pirouettes towards the wall and ends up on the wall. And then she half passes back to the inside track which is exactly what Janet said not to do, but it's a good visual at least.



        • #5
          I haven't read the article. But, this rider is not halfpassing back to the wall.

          This rider appear to be doing an entirely different exercise, perhaps setting up for a change after the pirouette , or to be reminding the horse to stay bent around her inside leg even though the difficult part of the exercise has passed.
          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


          • #6
            The video description states she's doing a half pass and it looked like one to me (abliet shallow) after doing the 1/2 turn. She certainly moved back to an inside track with true bend and sideways inclination upon completing the 1/2 turn and before doing a change. I won't claim to be half as knowledgable as I'd like to be though. What do you see?


            • #7
              Here are the significant parts of the rules: First, a description of ToH:
              10. The Turn on the Haunches. For younger horses that are still not able to show collected walk,the ‘turn on the haunches’ is an exercise to prepare the horse for collection. The ‘turn on the haunches’ is executed out of medium walk prepared by half-halts to shorten the steps a little and to improve the ability to bend the joints of the hindquarters. The ‘turn on the haunches’ can
              be executed on a larger diameter (approximately one meter) than the pirouette in walk, but the demands of the training scale concerning rhythm, contact, activity and straightness are the same. A turn on the haunches is to be judged like a regular half pirouette except that full credit must be given for a well performed, but larger (one meter) turn on the haunches. Full credit should also be given for a well performed regular sized half pirouette. A significant deduction should be made if a rider attempts but performs poorly a regular half pirouette.

              And here is how a piro. is judged:
              7. The quality of the pirouettes (half-pirouettes) is judged according to the suppleness, lightness, cadence and regularity and to the precision and smoothness of the transitions; pirouettes (halfpirouettes) at canter are judged also according to the balance, the elevation and the number of
              strides (at pirouettes 6-8, at half-pirouettes 3-4 are desirable). When the turn is too large and the hind steps come off the prescribed line of travel, the correction is to take a straight line back to the track. Correction by use of half-pass or leg-yielding may result in a deduction of points


              • #8
                The point of ToH/P is to create collectability and a progressively less large figure through ALMOST stepping in the same place the inside hind. IF one finishes as a half pass the hind legs cross, in a toh they almost 'mark the spot', in P they should.

                The POINT of riding a larger toh is to keep the ACTIVITY/flexing of BOTH hindlegs and all of the hindleg joints. Over time, to make it smaller and more collected. Rather like collected walk, it comes over time.

                Some have said that a toH starts as an idea of shoulder fore (controls inside hind and outside shoulder), thinks about becoming a LY (keeps a degree of straightness/moving), but then morphs into a tiny travers (keeps outside hind active).

                In truth the rider has to be able to progressively influence both hind legs. Too much inside rein or leg and the horse will do a turn around the center. Too much outside and flexion will be lost and the horse will LY. Too much outside leg and the horse will simply do travers on a volte. Too strong hand aids or those who try to do P first (no toH) and it can quickly become inactive and screw one of the hindlegs into the ground/miss steps which is the WORST fault of all.

                When schooling, or after the figure, should ideally go straight, or later on one could choose to do half pass. And when schooling the rider might even choose to do almost LY or whatever lateral exercise to regather straightness.
                I.D.E.A. yoda


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks everyone. To bring this back to my original question, which has not yet been addressed in so many words...Is it correct if, when a TOH has been completed, the horse ends up to a meter away from /to the inside of the wall/rail? Or is that a fault?

                  I understand that one should walk straight back to the wall/rail and not half pass.


                  • #10
                    For me it is not completed as a toH if the horse does not keep stepping on the 1/2 circle (l/r/l/r) no matter how big it is (1 meter or 3m) w/o crossing going to travers). The point is active stepping and folding of the joints, no spinning on the center or deviation of shoulders or quarters which allows either end to swing away/quit stepping/hurry/etc.
                    I.D.E.A. yoda


                    • #11
                      If you start with haunches on the rail, and "draw" a half circle (with your haunches; forehand will make a bigger circle) 1m in diameter, you will end up 1m off the rail. It's geometry. As your ToH gets smaller, you will end up closer to the rail. If you go farther around towards the rail, you will be counter bent to the direction when you reach the rail with your forehand, and risk stepping out with the outside hind (the one toward the center of the ring) as you straighten. Besides that, you are then making more than a half circle if you go farther....
                      Think of 10m half circles at X. You end up on the CL, right? If you go farther than the CL, you are no longer making a half circle (or, to apply it to this example, a HUGE ToH!)


                      • #12
                        You might consider me an outsider. I school dressage movements, but do not show dressage.
                        I am constantly amazed at how complicated modern dressage makes riding a horse.
                        I don't get it. A half circle is a half circle. If your facing north, you should end up facing south. 180 degrees. There is no other kind of half circle, regardless of the size. If they asked for a quarter of circle with the hind legs, then 1 meter away from the rail would make sense, but I know I can turn on the haunches 180 degrees all day long and end up exactly opposite of where I started. I just don't get why this is a problem.