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Walk Pirouette Tutorial With Sarah Williams

Today's tutorial is Walk Pirouette. I call this my 'Tuning fork and figure of eight' exercise.
Start from a regular collected walk, ride on parallel lines like a railway track. I lineup with my mirrors, one side to the other, riding the short side. Stay within those lines. My mirrors are about 4m wide. Riding in a slight shoulder-in position to begin with, make a U-turn, then ride in a haunches-in position, and make a U-turn, and repeat. Then at the next U-turn, ride a pirouette, which is a combination of shoulder-fore and haunches-in, then trot out to keep the energy, and repeat.
Gradually reduce the parallel lines in width and reduce the size of the turn to increase the difficulty of the pirouette, keeping the shoulders always in front of the haunches as you are turning on the U-turn, or reducing to produce a pirouette.
Always keep the walk rhythm, make sure you have a nice soft flexion and keep control of the outside hind leg, especially through the turn. If the horse starts to lean against your inside leg, just think 'a little leg yield' outwards and then start the U-turn again.
This exercise can be as easy or as difficult as you like. With young horses I don’t even attempt the pirouette, I just make the U-turn at either end of the tuning fork (or the parallel lines - whatever you would like to call them).
Have a play and let me know how you get on. Any questions, please message me on Facebook or Instagram @sarahwilliamsdressage.
Find out more about Sarah Williams and check out the rest of her helpful video tutorials, covering a range movements and transitions > View Sarah's profile here.

Sarah Williams
Horsemart Brand Ambassador
Published on 30-04-2020
Sarah is an international dressage rider who has her own yard, located at Yonder Farm in Kent. She has been a brand ambassador for Horsemart since November 2018. Sarah is a List 2 Judge, UKCC Level 3 Advanced Dressage Trainer, BHS AI and is a BD approved apprentice trainer. She is an extremely knowledgeable and passionate Grand Prix rider with International status.