Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cutting Corners

"Ride the corners!"

Dressage riders hear this all the time.  It's a good practice to be in.  Riding fully into the corners of an arena gives you extra space to prepare for movements and a nice place to half halt before lengthenings or lateral movements.  How many of us actually use the corners fully every day, though?  I know I don't.  And my corner cutting has come back to bite me.

I went out to set up my letters, so as to practice my test before the show.  As I was measuring for the length, I kept coming up 20' short.  I measured several times.  Always short.  I was quite confused.  Until I noticed that my arena was oval shaped, not rectangular.  Aha! 

Weeds are always a bad sign.
When I set my arena up, it was a rectangle.  What happened?  Every time I rode, I cut the corner a little.  Then, every time I took the drag through, I cut the corner a little because I was following the horse's tracks.  Over time, the arena became an oval and I lost ten feet on either end.  Crap!

It's not the end of the world, as it's easy to fix.  I just need to bring the footing back out to the corners again.  (This also solves the mystery of why the footing was getting a little deep in the middle, by the way.)  It will only require a few hours on the tractor.  Unfortunately, I don't really have time for that before the show.  So, I guess I'll be going into this test pretty much cold.  I've done pieces of it, but never the whole thing through.  Luckily it's not a complicated test, so I should be fine. 

^ ^ ^ ^ Famous Last Words ^ ^ ^ ^


  1. Have fun at the show! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

  2. I'm sure you won't cut corners at the show. Have fun and good luck.

  3. I made my arena about 20 meters longer, so I don't have the issue. Since I have fence around it, it's hard to get the drag fully into the corners anyhow.

    You are going to have a great ride, corners and all! In some ways, with a smart horse, it's not a bad idea to have not ridden the entire test. My guys memorize it before I do and then will anticipate. Have a feeling Spider is bright enough to catch on too.....*S*

  4. Meant to ask, where are you showing??

  5. LOL That's too funny. :) At least you can fix it. And it's a good reminder. Good luck and have fun at the show.

  6. Jean- We'll be at Suddenly Farm in Lumberton. Nice place, they put on good shows.

    I changed the format for posting comments, so hopefully everyone can post comments now. It worked for me, I wasn't even able to comment on my own blog before!

  7. Oh, and thanks to everyone for the well-wishes! My only goal is to not completely embarrass myself and my horse!

  8. Good luck at the show! Bring an ice pack for your back just in case. Maybe a yoga mat so you can spend a little belly time (that always helps me when my back is acting up).


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