By Eliza Sydnor Romm
I learned this exercise from Conrad Schumacher. Medium trot down the long side, walk before the corner, walk pirouette in the corner, back to medium trot, repeat, repeat, repeat! The walk pirouette engages the horse for a better medium trot. And the medium gets the horse active and in front of the leg for a better walk pirouette. When repeated, the horse begins to anticipate the medium trot while still in the pirouette, making them think forward. And they begin to anticipate the walk pirouette at the end of the medium trot, making them bring themselves back without the rider pulling too much!
I show this exercise with three horses, one FEI, one Third level, and one First level. It can easily be modified to make it easier. For a lower level horse, you can ride a very large turn on the haunches in the corner and then a gradual trot lengthening in rising trot.
While we don’t want to ride endless medium trots, since that is very taxing on our horses, the point of this exercise is in the repetition, so that the horse begins to anticipate in positive ways.
About the Author
Eliza Sydnor Romm is an FEI rider and trainer based in Snow Camp, NC. She is a USDF Certified Instructor Training-Fourth Level, successful competitor through Grand Prix, and popular clinician. Eliza, and her assistant trainer, Kate Tackett, work with horses and riders of all levels and specialize in starting young horses under saddle. Visit www.elizasydnordressage.com for more information, find her on Facebook @ElizaSydnorDressage, and subscribe to her YouTube channel for some great instructional videos!