Dressage in General

The 20-Meter Circle

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20 Meter (20m) Circle Defined

A circle that is 20 meters in diameter and that ends in exactly the same place it started.

How to Execute the 20 Meter Circle

Start in trot rising at E
Bend the horse’s body around the inside leg so that you can see his inside eye.
Ride a straight line toward centerline.

Upon reaching the centerline, continue towards B in a straight line.
At B, travel toward centerline again.
Finally, make your last turn towards E.

The horse will not be able to travel in a straight line due to the lengthwise bend of the body, thus resulting in an accurate circle.

The horse should maintain the same bend around the inside leg as the circumference of the circle.

The rider should sit in the direction of travel and maintain constant contact on the outside rein. Sitting in the direction of travel entails sitting heavier on the inside sitting bone when in the sitting position of the rising trot.

Purpose of the 20 Meter Circle

To relax the horse and develop good rhythm.
To demonstrate the suppleness of the horse.
To straighten the horse.
To assist the rider in developing the appropriate turning aids.
To show the rider’s ability to keep the horse on the aids.
To help the rider learn to use the seat when turning.

Common Errors in Execution

The rider bends the horse too much or too little.
The horse falls in.
The horse’s haunches swing out.
The circle is oblong or ameoba-shaped.
The circle is not the appropriate diameter.
The horse is ridden too deep in the corners if executed at one end of the arena.


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