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Tips/Tricks for Riding Down Center Line

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  • Tips/Tricks for Riding Down Center Line

    Hi I am new to dressage and will be showing Training Level this year predominately at breed shows. I've been reading through past threads for tips and tricks to riding a successful training level test and have found a lot of great information.

    However, I haven't found a ton of info on tips/tricks of how to get a really good turn down center line. I know the test reads at A to come down center line however I feel like if I wait till A I'm overshooting where I need to be. Any tips/tricks for this?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    It's a half of a 10 m circle if you're turning from the inside of the ring. You have to make a corner, not a sharp turn. Have you jumped? LOOK where you're going. Turn your head and shoulders and the horse will follow.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
      It's a half of a 10 m circle if you're turning from the inside of the ring. You have to make a corner, not a sharp turn. Have you jumped? LOOK where you're going. Turn your head and shoulders and the horse will follow.
      I have jumped before and I was going the route of looking to make the turn down center line but I was concerned that the turn wasn't happening right at A as written in the test. Is that the appropriate way to ride the test?

      Comment


      • #4
        Dont think of the turn as a 90 degree angle, think of it as the 1/2 circle mentioned above. You should have a smooth movement from long side around the ring corner and onto the center line, which you won't really hit for a stride or two from the short side.
        Later, at first or 2nd level, you will actually do two 90 degree turns at the end of the test to get to center line.

        If you have a regulation size arena, sit a cone or some marker just to the outside of the center line, and between the last set of letters; use that marker to get a feel for the flow.
        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Ok this is making sense. Just to verify should you ride the final corner as deep as the others or is it acceptable to round the whole short end off a little to come down center line?

          Comment


          • #6
            At training/first level all corners should be ridden like a half circle of 10 m. At your entry, this isn't a big issue. At the end of the test, the centerline is just 2 of these in rapid succession. The other thing to think about is how to keep your centerline straight. Riding the centerline like a lengthening helps this a lot. Depending on fitness levels, this can be tough at the end of your test because your horse may be tired. But if you prepare properly, that last corner and centerline turn can work for you. Make sure you enter that last corner with a lot of energy and maintain it through the 2nd turn. Then allow some release down the centerline. It works like a sling shot.
            I school long side/centerline/long side (with or without a halt at X) a lot to prepare.

            This is one movement where practice really pays off and it is possible to get very high marks if you nail it.
            See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by nhwr View Post
              At training/first level all corners should be ridden like a half circle of 10 m. At your entry, this isn't a big issue. At the end of the test, the centerline is just 2 of these in rapid succession. The other thing to think about is how to keep your centerline straight. Riding the centerline like a lengthening helps this a lot. Depending on fitness levels, this can be tough at the end of your test because your horse may be tired. But if you prepare properly, that last corner and centerline turn can work for you. Make sure you enter that last corner with a lot of energy and maintain it through the 2nd turn. Then allow some release down the centerline. It works like a sling shot.
              I school long side/centerline/long side (with or without a halt at X) a lot to prepare.

              This is one movement where practice really pays off and it is possible to get very high marks if you nail it.

              This makes a lot of sense. I'm possibly riding the corners a bit too deep in general and might be why I'm getting a little stuck trying to make the turn down center line after the final turn at the end of the test. I'll mark off some 10 meter circles at each corner and school those. I definitely don't want to lose points on moves that we are capable of nailing with practice. Thanks everyone!

              Comment


              • #8
                Look the judge straight in the eye or a bit above their head and ride actively forward.
                Have you ever ridden a bicycle? If you try to crawl slowly on a bicycle, you will wobble all over the place. Now, if you pedal, you will more easily steer a straight line.
                Granted, horses are not bicycles, but you are better of with activity than too slow.
                www.settlementfarm.us

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by dotneko View Post
                  Look the judge straight in the eye or a bit above their head and ride actively forward.
                  Have you ever ridden a bicycle? If you try to crawl slowly on a bicycle, you will wobble all over the place. Now, if you pedal, you will more easily steer a straight line.
                  Granted, horses are not bicycles, but you are better of with activity than too slow.
                  I like the analogy! Once we are heading down center line it is usually pretty good but we were definitely struggling with where to make the turn to come down center line in relation to A. Thanks for all the great ideas everyone!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you feel like you are drifting past your turn really concentrate on your outside aids to help create a supportive "wall" to balance your horse through the turn. My mare can blow past the turn down center if I get complacent with my outside aids and don't show her exactly where I expect her to turn.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kwalker024 View Post
                      Ok this is making sense. Just to verify should you ride the final corner as deep as the others or is it acceptable to round the whole short end off a little to come down center line?
                      Don't worry about "the others". look to the training scale. Practice the 1/2 10 m circle, paying attention to the rhythm and the relaxation. Go as deep as you can, while being true to the rhythm and relaxation.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Carol O View Post
                        Don't worry about "the others". look to the training scale. Practice the 1/2 10 m circle, paying attention to the rhythm and the relaxation. Go as deep as you can, while being true to the rhythm and relaxation.
                        Great advice! I will definitely start schooling it like that!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What Carol said, but plan ahead. Don't wait til you get there to start your turn, keep the center line in the corner of your eye,and go! Go, being the operative word.. It is almost impossible to ride a straight line if your horse is not Forward! At this level a walk stride is permissible, before the halt.
                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ride like others have said coming in at A. Also your corners should be ridden as a corner, deeper not a circle. If you are circling at say A then you will use your corners more as a circle shape and not go as deep in. Judges like to see a difference in this but a lot of times they don't at lower levels. Also make sure to keep your horse between your legs. If you know say he will float say right a bit be prepared to get that leg on and beat him to it. Also remember to hold him in-between your legs at the halt and you will keep your leg on for an active halt that is balanced.
                            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's training level. If you can make that turn down the centerline, you're doing pretty well. My four year old could barely make that 10 m turn she is was big and not coordinated enough yet. There is no score for corners. There are scores for being balanced into the turn, so just focusing on doing a half of a 10 m circle onto A is doing a good job.

                              Don't waste your time trying to do things you can't do and aren't scored on. Use the corners to balance and get control of yourself and your horse. It's a great place to set up for other moves, and, unless you do something dramatically wrong there, you won't be scored on them.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                10 meter circles will be with you forever, so start practicing them now and forever. And also lots 10 meter 1/2 circles.
                                They may be rough to start but they will get better.

                                Also ride off the wall (on the inside track)(or in an open field) to develope your straightness--horse between your hands and legs - not wobbling in a straight line. This will help your centerlines. From this exercise you will learn to feel your horse's crookiness and be able to strengthen his weak areas of his body.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Max Gahwyler's The Competitive Edge series is full of wonderful advice and strategies. The books refer to old tests, but movements haven't changed.

                                  (http://www.amazon.com/Max-Gahwyler/e/B001KCLX7G)
                                  *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Visualize rail road tracks curving and then straight down the middle.

                                    Pick a bend youd like and keep it through the turn then slowly straighten instead of ping! THink slowly switching bend but stop in the middle if they are not really for really open straight without help ;D
                                    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Remember the corner letters are 6 M from the short side. A 10M circle would touch the long side 1M before the corner letter, and touch the short side halfway to A (or C).
                                      So, start your turn 1M (about a stride) after the corner letter, touch the short side at the right place, and don't change anything until you are on the center line. Make your outside aids become the "walls" on that open side!

                                      It really helped me to ride 10m circles in the corners, using a cone to mark the CL where I should hit it - 5M in from the short side.

                                      To compare this to a 20M circle: A 20M circle hits the long side 10M from the end - that's 4 M beyond the corner letter.
                                      When riding corners, be sure you don't follow that 20M circle path left by earlier work - go deeper into the corner, but not so deep that you interfere with your rhythm.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You said you were a jumper... Ride it like a rollback. I am in a little different position than you since I ride sidesaddle and need the help my hips and torso give me to keep a solid turn and straight line, as I come past F, I look back towards the judge and in the beginning I thought ofmitmlike a rollback. Got me a decent turn and a straight finish. Probably sounds silly to most, but t worked for me
                                        Mighty Thoroughbred Clique - has a Facebook Page!!!http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mig...80739235378806
                                        Www.customequestriandesigns.com

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