I have lived at our Equestrian Center for over 15 years and have judged or taught over 9000 riders during that time. The biggest mistake I see at the lower levels is the lack of a correct circle shape.
A Circle performed correctly gives the impression of smoothness, balance and ease. Presenting the circle incorrectly shows off the horses ability to fall in, fall out and lose balance. Often we see riders with too much inside bend, or too much outside bend. Not riding the circle accurately makes the job of the horse much more difficult.
Circles form the basis of 90% of everything you do in a dressage test. Corners are 1/4 circles, turns are 1/4 circles and Circles are Circles NOT Squircles 🙂 The comments on my 13 year old daughters BD Team Quest sheet this weekend were “A really well presented test – accurate & flowing – well done!” – with a score of 76.3%
Download the first few pages of my chapter on Accuracy which talks about the 20M circle and how you can get extra marks and improve your horse’s balance using this simple movement. Click HERE
You can buy Edition 2 of my book on Amazon