Finish Your Pass, um, Corner

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. Going Medieval: On the myth of short life expectancy, and COVID complacency, 4 March 2021.

“You never finish anything.” My groundperson, last Saturday.

We were back at Full Circle Horse Park practicing USEF Beginner Novice B. 3rd time in 4 weeks. [Let The Acclimatization Begin, A to X, Marco Polo]

It was pointed out that I was not completing each quarter arc of the circle before I arrived at the relevant tangent point, those points being the two sides of the arena, C, and X for a 20-meter circle at C.

I thought I was demonstrating a different line between corner and circle. Mostly I was reaching a theoretical circle marker and then turning and heading for the next one, which meant I hadn’t finished one before I started the next, which meant I had to yank Rodney around to start the next 90 degrees, which meant we were executing flawless diamonds.

In my defense, it was intentional. I was doing the same thing each time. Just the wrong thing.

I need to aim a bit ahead of the mark, straighten up, and put a full stride on the rail or at X as I pass. As soon as I asked for it, that’s what I got. At one point, I had the degree of bend exactly right so that all I had to do was go forward and the circle unrolled at our feet. Wow.

It was mentioned that this habit applies to my corners as well.


I’ll give you the circle, but don’t tell me how to make a corner.

I know how to ride a corner.

I went to the corner.

Establish correct bend before you arrive.

Bend through the corner.

Leave corner.

Then I felt it.

About 7/8ths of the way through, I stopped riding the corner and moved on to the next thing. This left us not quite straight, which aggravated Rodney’s tendency not to keep his eyes in the boat.

I needed to ask for one, maybe two more steps. Not even a full stride. Just a step or two more out of the corner to ensure that we were straight and on the rail. This why I fail to make smooth, graceful turns in the hunter ring. I tend to turn and head straight for the nearest jump. This has been noted in places as far afield as the ASB ring. Per Coach Courtney, “my eyes glaze over and I’m looking for the next jump.” [Dixie Cup]

Asked for. Got. Again

I blame this habit on Previous Horse, plus natural inclination. PH didn’t not appreciate micro-managing. Stop. Go. Turn. Jump. Anything else was unnecessary fussing. Fine by me.

Fortunately – in the long term, unfortunately in the short term – Rodney comes with many more buttons. How much turn? What kind of turn? You want 7/8s of a turn? Okay.

I liken it to an advanced computer program. Ask a word-processing program for a line, it will give you a line. Ask a design program for a line, it will ask how long a line? How thick? What color? Where does the line start? Where does it stop?

Way more ability. Way more powerful. Way more options for the operator.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

7 thoughts on “Finish Your Pass, um, Corner

  1. Lifelong learning sounds suspiciously like “character building.”

    Why would Priney need close supervision? She already knew what she was doing. As I’m sure she would have told us.

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