The Walk Pirouette Defined
The walk pirouette is a collected 180 degree turn on the haunches at the walk.
How to Execute the Walk Pirouette
Start in collected walk,
Apply half halts and almost simultaneously flex the horse slightly to the inside,
Increase the weight on the inside seat bone,
Activate the horse’s inside hind leg using the inside leg at the girth,
The outside left is positioned slightly behind the girth to prevent the haunches from falling out,
Upon completing the 180 degree turn, release the flexion and bend and drive the horse forward using the seat and leg.
The inside hand both flexes and guides the horse sideways.
The combination and organization of the seat, leg and rein aids controls the turn.
Riding a slightly larger pirouette more forward will help the horse that loses the rhythm in the hindquarters during the movement.
Less bend and flexion will help prevent the haunches from evading sideways.
Purpose of the Walk Pirouette
To change direction in the smallest spaces
To improve coodination and concentration on the horse and rider
To further the elevation of the walk
Common Errors in Execution
The horse pauses before the beginning of the movement.
The horse evades with the hindquarters.
The horse stops by planting one or more legs.
The horse pivots by planting both hind legs.
The horse steps backwards.
The horse in not centered.
The horses uses too much ground.
The horse crosses the hind legs.
The horse evades sideways during the turn.
The horse loses rhythm.
The horse shows too little flexion and bend.
The horse is incorrectly flexed and bent.
The horse goes against the rider’s hand.
The horse is “flat” or “shallow” in the turn.