Improve your Lateral Work - The Diagonal Aids
Today's Two-Minute Training Tip introduces the "Squiggles" for lateral work. The "squiggles" is a popular exercise that I've put my own spin on for working on a variety of details.
Check out this video for a visual on riding my style of squiggles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1WZXQLVnp8.
What’s my version of the squiggles? It’s a looping exercise in which you ride long side to long side with a 10-20 meter half-circle in between. You’ll also work on making straight lines as you cross the diagonal. The size of the half circle depends on the size, strength, and balance of the horse. The beauty of the squiggles is that it can be a go to exercise in your back pocket and used in a variety of ways.
In this version you’re just going to focus on timing your inside calf press or pulse with the inside hind touching the ground—you may feel it when your inside hip is elevated. You’re then going to time your outside hand to squeeze and release (like wringing out a sponge) on the opposite or ‘release’ of the calf. You can chant to yourself “I press then I squeeze,” or you can say “press-release, squeeze-release.” Just a little two-beat chant to help your timing of the diagonal aids. Hopefully the horse will leg yield away a bit from the inside leg and then lower the poll and stretch to the outside rein. At first just focus on that two beat chant and those two aids until you can quietly and calmly change the horse from side to side as you ride the entire arena. You’ll note I start at the walk and take my time with it. You’ll also notice I put out some cones for myself so I have a visual marker to work around. This exercise is for the walk and trot.
If you want more training on lateral work, check out the upcoming Lateral Work Clinic on November 6th at Revelationfarm.com, and stay tuned for next week’s Two-minute Training Tips!