Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Alternative Circle of Death

I had a lesson last week and all we did was trot poles.  And it kicked my ass.  But it was a really good lesson and gave me something to focus and work on.

I've been feeling a little lost lately.  Our right lead canter is shit, but I can't figure out how to fix it. Obviously Peeb's teeth played a part in that, and he's getting looked at by the chiropractor tonight, but there's more to it.  I'm not super imaginative when it comes to exercises or ways to work through a problem when riding on my own, especially if its been a while between lessons. If only I could have my trainer at the ring every time I ride....

We were riding in the indoor, since it was rainy and I wanted to focus on flat work. Trainer set up 3/4 of the circle of death with poles at noon, three, and nine. She had the two outside poles along the rail, but the noon pole was sitting about ten feet in from the rail. I was a bit concerned because our canter right is no where near ready to attempt even part of the circle of death.

Glory at my paint job! Obviously not the indoor, but what I set up outside on Sunday
She had a trot the outside pole, bending to the noon pole then turning towards the wall before looping back over it then bending to the other outside pole.  So if we were tracking right it would be right bend to the middle pole, left turn around it, then right turn to the outside pole.  The goal was to get Peebs and me bending and thinking quicker. He tends to want to dump on his inside shoulder instead of moving up and around it.  This way we switch the bend up, and with not a lot of space in the indoor, I had to plan and be ready with my half halts and leg in order to set him up.  I also got called out on not having enough feel on my outside rein, and being late switching to the new outside rein in the turns. Which obviously doesn't help Peebs at all.  By the end of the lesson we were going pretty well and he was much more supple and willing to move up and around my inside leg.  While we didn't canter at all, trainer said the work we did (and the work I should continue to do) will help with our right canter issue.  If I can be more consistent with my outside rein, and he's more willing to move up and around my inside leg, a lot of our problems might be solved.

A post shared by Molly Basney (@mollybasney) on

Sunday I set the full circle of death up outside to play with.  I did the exercise from our lesson to warm up, but since I had more room in the outdoor (or maybe because I didn't have a trainer telling what to do) it didn't work quite as well. We did a little canter each way, picking up a pole here and there, before another boarder talked me into doing the circle. Going left was fine but I only managed to put two poles together going right before Peebs lost his brain.  Its going from the six o'clock to the nine pole that he wants to brace against me and rush, but the rest of the time he's fine.  Obviously we still have more work to do.


  1. It sounds like you're on the right track, I bet you see big improvements soon! Stronger outside aids and less inside rein are my struggle too :)

  2. You guys look great in the video!

  3. Ugh the circle of death is so hard. Tried it once with my new horse and we legit almost lawn darted thru the earth's crust. Yes both of us....