Tag Archives: haunches in


Haunches in, haunches out, quarters in, quarters out, travers, renvers – strip back the technical terms and what you are aiming for is the ability to move your horse’s quarters left or right (with bend through the horse’s body). Getting to the heart of the matter will dispel any fears you have about cracking on with this type of work, because the sooner you do, the sooner your horse will benefit from these straightforward exercises. Continue reading LATERAL WORK: Travers

Struggling with Travers / Haunches In

Haunches In HandsI am constantly amazed at how the very, very small things make such a huge, huge difference.  Here’s one of those such things.

If you are struggling to get a soft flowing travers (Haunches In), turn your inside hand over slightly (like turning a key).  It must be very subtle so as not to draw the horse to the inside or bend the horse’s neck … but OMG! What a difference it makes.

Other essential elements are forwardness and ensuring that you are not crooked with your upper body, but try the hand thing.  It’s a gem!

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster


Other Eureka moments include :

Eureka – Open your Hips

All Together Now – Eureka moment

Why I want to feel the Force of my horses hind legs in my Ass


Travers – Use it to supple your horse

There are a number of exercises you should master in order to improve your horses ability to bend laterally (sideways), his overall suppleness and encourage engagement of his hindquarters.  One of them is Travers (or haunches in).  This lateral exercise is where the horse moves on a straight line with the quarters on an inner track and is essential for those who have already mastered shoulder-in and are ready to move up to half-pass.

You should begin asking for Travers in walk by ensuring that the walk is active with free and flowing movement.

It is important to be conscious of this so that you do not lose the rhythm or tempo and the gait is not be impaired in any way as the Travers begins.


  • Use the corner of the school to help you set up or ride a 10m circle
  • As the horses shoulder comes out of the circle, give the aids …
  • Both you and your horse should be looking forward in the direction of travel
  • Move your outside leg back slightly behind the girth to ask the horse’s hindquarters to move inwards to a 30 degree angle.
  • The outside rein should balance the horse and control the bend.
  • Keep your inside leg on the girth to maintain impulsion and flexion to the inside.
  • Your inside rein will maintain a soft contact and flexion.
  • Ride a few quality strides only, straighten the horse and ride away until you are able to maintin Travers along the whole side of the arena.

Try Travers …

  • On a circle
  • In trot
  • In canter
  • Up the Centre line
  • Ride a half 10m circle and return to E or B in Travers
  • Ride shoulder in along long side to E or B, 10m circle followed by Travers for the rest of the long side.


  • Look behind at the horse’s quarters
  • Collapse your inside hip
  • Allow your upper body to become crooked
  • Swing your outside lower leg too far back
  • Allow the impulsion to wane
  • Ask for too much angle
  • Allow the horse to look to the outside

So, there you have it the do’s and do nots of Travers.  Take it slowly, really think about your body position and how it affects the horse, be quiet in your aids and expect it to happen.

Good luck!

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster


Pure Gaits




YieldThe debate on whether to leg yield or not is not a new one. Certainly Classical Dressage purists sit firmly on the side of the fence that says leg yield has no benefits to the scale of training whatsoever and may even hinder progress.

So how you do reconcile this when the movement is asked for in tests? I do not know the answer to this question.  It is a matter for you to consider when you examine the horses ability to progress beyond training/elementary level.

YieldThe primary benefit of leg yield is to simply teach your horse to move forwards and sideways, however, the hind quarters do not take more weight and the horse finds it difficult to remain light in the forehand (often the act of leg yielding puts the horse onto the forehand!)


Shoulder-in, travers (or haunches in) and half-pass are far superior exercises to the leg yield because all three of these exercises ensure that the horse’s centre of gravity is placed directly in the path of the activated hind leg.

Riders at all levels should seek to become skilled at these exercises due to the fact that, done well, they significantly benefit the horse’s gymnastic ability.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster