Dressage - The Pirouette

From: Horse Training

See also: Leg Yield | Shoulder In| Half Pass| Piaffe Rider Aids| Passage| Travers | Flying Changes| Counter Canter | Rein Back | Extended Trot

Horse Picture

Dressage Training - The Pirouette
A pirouette is a lateral movement where the horse turns around on its inside hind leg with the two forefeet and the other hind foot moving around it in the shape of a circle. The Pirouette can be performed in walk and canter and requires a high degree of collection from the horse. Pirouettes are described in terms of the degree or the amount of the turn that has been asked for.

Types Of Pirouette
A 360 degree turn is called a Full Pirouette, a 180 degree turn is called a Half Pirouette and a 90 degree turn is called a Quarter Pirouette. When a Pirouette is performed in walk it is sometimes referred to as a turn on the haunches.

Principles Of A Pirouette
The horse should be bent into the direction that the Pirouette is being performed with the hind foot that forms the base of the Pirouette moving up and down on the spot or just fractionally traveling forwards.

The horses outside hind will move around the inside hind in the shape of a small circle, while the two forelegs will perform a larger circle on the outer edge of the Pirouette.

The horse will need to be engaged behind and should stay in balance and rhythm throughout each of the steps with the horse remaining on the bit with the poll the highest point.

The horse should make around 6 to 8 steps for a Full canter Pirouette and around 3 to 5 for a Half canter Pirouette.

Aids For The Pirouette

Beginning Pirouette

Common Faults With Pirouette's