NOVICE TEST – Teardrop Turn or Demi-volte to Long Side

Teardrop Turn – demi-volte to long side

The history of dressage is vast and fascinating, full of intriguing words and quotes from the ‘masters’ that you may or may not be able to make sense of.  The Volte was traditionally ridden over 12 strides in circumference (using the inside hind leg as the counter).  However, this was later decreased to 6-8 strides in circumference (6 meters) and is therefore, only used when a horse has developed the ability to collect. Of all the circles, the volte requires the most balance, engagement and power.teardrop turn

However, changing direction through a 10m half-volte is something you need to master for the preliminary test and is a quite significant movement, which should not be overlooked or thought of in any way as simple; there’s more to the tear-drop turn than meets the eye.

In the teardrop turn you would ride the long side of the arena, perform a half-volte toward the inside of the arena and make your way back to the wall of the long side.  To ride it correctly you have to ensure your horse is straight on the long side; is supple and flexible enough to execute a half 10m circle with forwardness and rhythm and master the change of bend as you return to the track.  All of this requires you to support your horse in an upright position thus ensuring there is no leaning in on the turns.

Use it to help you with the following:

In the return to the track, your horse has a short distance to cover, and will be naturally drawn to the wall so it is a relatively easy exercise to master early on in your training.  As you progress you will use it in a more collected manner.  Get a basics right in walk, trot and canter and it will be another item in your toolbox.

As always, have fun!

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster

help@likecrystal.com

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6 thoughts on “NOVICE TEST – Teardrop Turn or Demi-volte to Long Side”

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  2. Hi Patricia, I’m trying to learn a 15 m demi volte in canter for a test and i’m really struggling with this on the left rein. Can you give me any tips please? I’m finding that if i don’t keep my outside leg really back my horse changes leads before the fence, but keeping my leg on in this way she takes it as a cue to tank off across the diagonal. It’s much better on the other rein although i know my position is much better that way.

    1. Hi Marie – Firstly I would try to establish the canter strike off anywhere in the arena. So on the long side ask for ‘counter’ canter strike off and make sure you get a few strides of canter before asking for trot and then ‘true’ canter. Then do this on a circle. True canter, then counter canter – large 20m circle.

      Over exaggerate the bend in the canter with the inside leg and adopt a slightly shoulder fore position. All of this can be straightened up as soon as you can maintain the counter canter. When you ask for canter you should stroke the outside leg back, but it goes back to normal position so you are making the mistake of thinking that the outside leg is maintaining the canter.

      Relax and make sure you are even in your seat and not putting in too much effort that is creating tension. Smile. Expect it to happen instead of thinking it won’t. When he changes lead, go immediately for the demi volte in the other direction. Don’t anticipate a transition to trot at the end of the demi-volte, you might be signalling for him to do something different, other than simply maintain the canter. Hope this helps. Let me know. Px

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