DRESSAGE TRAINING - Improve aiding and riding good corners

Dressage Training but not as you know it 

This series concentrates on training for dressage, but not as you know it.  The aim is to refresh your training regime, encourage your horse to want to work and to show that you do not need an arena to be successful in Dressage. In Part 1 explains how polework can help a horse become more engaged.
Improve aiding and riding good corners

Weymarsh dressage_part_2 
We will be working with poles, to help improve aiding and riding good corners.  

Start by creating a 20mtr square/box to work within by using the bottom end of your arena on the short side and adding two poles across the arena to create the other end of your square. Then using either four small jump blocks or something similar at every corner of your square, take 3 large strides in and place the blocks on the ground. This will create a marker at each corner, which will ensure when you ride your square you ride deep into your corners.
Firstly, ride into each corner in an active walk and ensure that your horse bends around your inside leg while maintaining a steady rhythm. Once you have established a good walk you can introduce the trot, again ensuring that your horse bends through the turn and does not cut the corner or knock the jump blocks. 
Once you are able to maintain rhythm and bend on both reins you can increase the difficulty by incorporating walk trot transitions into the corners. As you approach the corners use your seat to prepare the horse to shorten the trot steps into a round and supple contact and a transition to walk.  Then as you turn out of the corner immediately ask for a trot transition.  

Repeat this exercise into each corner changing rein from time to time, you should start to feel the horse engaging his hind legs and developing better self-carriage into the trot transitions, always try to ensure you are using your seat to turn.
When you have mastered this exercise you can introduce canter and use trot transitions into the corners and canter out of the corners. This steady progression through the gaits will test you and your horse's balance and ability to sit, keep rhythm and aiding down from and up into canter.  
If your horse is working elementary and above this can be expanded upon by performing canter, walk, canter transitions.
Making these exercises part of your regular training regime will benefit your horse in all areas as it strengthens and engages the horse's hind quarters, as well as improving the rider's aids and ability to prepare transitions.  
weymarsh logo