After a weekend of training judge candidates and watching repeated mistakes in ring ﬁgures, it seemed appropriate to discuss the importance of correct ﬁgures which effect the balance of the horse, and hence the score!
Knowing the dimensions of the arena and placement of the letters should be part of every riders’ early education. For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about the full size 20 X 60 meter arena.
Unfortunately there has to be some math involved! Knowing that the corner letters are 6 meters from the actual corner and the next letters are spaced 12 meters further down the long side, as well as the corresponding centerline letters (D, L, X, I, G), is crucial to knowing where to place ﬁgures and movements. Let’s take the 20 meter circle for example, when placed at A or C, on the open side of the circle, the line should cross the center line 2 meters beyond L or I (6 + 12 + 2 = 20 meters). And even for the visual learner, it is necessary to see where the centerline letters would be and to be able to gauge and develop the feel for the correct bending line as it crosses the centerline. And consequently the 20 meter circles when placed at E or B, need to cross the center line at the same point (2 meters inside from L and I). A mistake we often see are riders crossing the centerline at L and I, which for the A and C circle would make only 18 meters, and for the E and B circle would make it 24 meters! And hence making it impossible to maintain uniform bend and balance in the horse as the circle is no longer round.Read More