Here’s a useful change of rein for you dressage divas. It incorporates shoulder fore as well as changes of bend, so is very useful for improving their balance and suppleness.
It can be ridden off either rein, but I’ll describe it beginning on the left rein.
At A, turn down the centre line and ride left shoulder fore to X. At X, ride a ten metre circle left before riding a ten metre circle right, and then continue down the centre line to C in right shoulder fore before turning right at C. If you turn off the right rein, ride right shoulder fore and the right circle first.
Shoulder fore, processing to shoulder in, on the centre line is trickier than riding it on the track because the horse has no support from the fence, so needs the rider’s support to keep them straight. Riding from shoulder fore onto the first circle will improve the inside hind leg engagement.
The second circle allows you to change your horse’s bend and help you set up the second shoulder fore.
The two circles effectively make up a figure of eight, and the quick change of bend helps improve the horse’s suppleness and balance as they have to shift their weight from the old inside hind to the new inside hind limb.
I enjoyed doing this exercise with Phoenix in my lesson this week, and could feel the benefits to her. Watch out clients as you’ll be having a go soon!