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Circle of Death

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  • Circle of Death

    I know that this has been discussed in the past, and I just came across this video on YouTube--vintage GM! I thought I should post it for reference.

  • #2
    We do this a lot in the winter in the indoor. It helps so much! And recently when I was in the EAP we had to do this but with poles.


    • #3
      Wow. You'd need a very quick and responsive horse to do that exercise!
      proud owner of a crazy dutch warmblood


      • #4
        My horse has the SPCA on speed dial for just such emergencies!

        Oh my, that does look like WORK! He thinks three (not four) poles on the ground in a circle is pushing the envelope.

        You guys give me all kinds of idea. Maybe it would be worth a short stint in jail...
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          Oh gosh, I try to avoid this exercise like the plague!!! It makes me out of breath just watching it on YouTube, hahaha!


          • #6
            My pony could do that with his eyes closed...but...our standards are too heavy to move. Yeah, I'll go with that excuse.


            • #7
              That's intense! Nice find

              At my barn we call that a 'clock exercise' on the flat and use it for upwards and downwards transitions(sans jumps of course!)
              I know now, the place that I was trying to reach, was you, right here in front of me


              • #8
                I had a trainer who made me do that--and he had never HEARD of GM!!

                Breezy (the school horse I rode) hated it every bit as much, BTW. I can hear Jonathan's voice now: "Leg! Leg! Leg!"

                I loff my Quarter horse clique

                I kill threads dead!


                • #9
                  That's one of my favorite exercises on my handy little Welsh/Arab cross -- but I was, er, less than successful at it on my trainer's OTTB.


                  • #10
                    wow so don't let any of my students (past and present) hear you all talk like that, they will think I torture them when I make them do this inside in winter.

                    Seriously one of my old trainers did this with us and I have used it with all of my students ever since. it's one of my favorites in winter to break the boredom


                    • #11
                      ok, who will do the math: if that horse was doing a three-stride and taking the smallest circle a horse can reasonably be expected to go, how far apart are the inside standards from each other?
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                      • #12
                        ahh doing that at EAP should be interesting haha...sometimes my 6 year old forgets how to, umm, turn but my equitation horse basically just carries me around the circle...it's quite nice

                        hahaha edited because i fail at math. miserably.
                        Last edited by lauraware; Apr. 26, 2009, 08:07 PM.


                        • #13
                          You mean you didn't use pye R squared?
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                          • #14
                            All I know is pie R yummy.

                            But seriously, am I the only one who likes this exercise? I haven't done it in ages, so I can't remember where the standards are.


                            • #15
                              I've set up something like this.... but I can't recall a distance calculation.

                              I know I've done this with 3 and 4 jumps on the circle.

                              And I know I've done this where the middle standards were stackable jump blocks instead of standards... and in addition to the circle exercise we'd jump the middle of the thing... at some point the middle was two and a half jump blocks tall... and you could walk through the middle on foot.
                              friend of bar.ka


                              • #16
                                We used to do that all the time. It's really not that hard.

                                We had a much more difficult exercise where you set the jumps up end to end in a zigzag pattern. Then you jump into the first "V" of the zigzag landing alongside the second fence, turn away from the second fence and circle back to it-jump into the second element into the second "V", make another circle the other direction etc. If you use four fences in a row and make small circles it is very hard and a great exercise for sharpening up your jumpoff skills.


                                • #17
                                  Even for the hunters!

                                  A BNT who used to be in my area warmed up his hunters on at least one jump taken on a curve. His idea was that the long stride comes primarily from the horse using his inside hind leg. Jumping on a curve both strengthens that leg and/or gets the horse thinking about reaching under with it.

                                  I think my slacker hunter would lengthen his stride and relax after he got off the circle of death just to celebrate being alive!
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat


                                  • #18
                                    ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    I hate this. Oh I hate this so much! lol. When I pull up and see that set up, I think I just came down with something ;]

                                    I find it easy (but not fun) on short strided horses that are really responsive. But try it on a big baby with an even bigger stride! and yeah .. down right frightening!

                                    but I must agree .. it helps wonders!
                                    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
                                    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
                                    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~


                                    • #19
                                      Usually not set on 12'. A little less. The inside to inside track in 3 is typically more collected and the outside to outside 4 a little more open...maybe 32'/33' on the inside and 46 or 47 on the outside track. But you can set it as you wish. be really hard to open the stride all the way and hold that bending track.

                                      If you want to tackle this, start with just 2 spokes. After you master the strides, bend and holding the track, you can add the third spoke, fight with that for awaile and when you get it, the fourth. Don't do too many reps in a row, let them canter around the outside rail and take a break often

                                      You should be able to do this. Maybe not like GM but it's pretty basic IF you nail your flatwork regularly.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                      • #20
                                        Two winters ago, PH published an article containing this exercise-- three out of four jumps set up. The Maddens built a curved line of Xs at a clinic they gave at their Syracuse show.

                                        For a time, you could find these kinds of circles set up in many small indoors around Central NY. Good thing the horses weren't unionized!

                                        Then the rash died down. But the exercise has been around in various forms for awhile. People just try it, find out how hard it is given their current state of flatwork and move on. Or they get what they want from it and move on.

                                        I don't think GM holds a patent.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat