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Why to use circles in your horse training – Part 1

This is an article about the benefits and drawbacks of using circles in your training with your horse. Written by Ben.



Circles can be a great tool for developing horses mentally, emotionally and physically. The problem is that most people use circles incorrectly, which tends to cause them to loose their connection with their horse rather then enhancing it.
It is important to understand that circles are only a training tool designed to serve a purpose in the training process. It is also important to understand that circles can be both constructive and destructive depending on how and when they are used. To fully access the benifits of circles in your training process you need to know what purpose they serve and how to set them up correctly.



The Benefits of using circles in your training:

  • Correct use of circles develops impulsion – Helps a horse learn how to manage its emotions
  • Circles teach a horse its responsibilities – Maintaining gait, direction and looking where it is going
  • Circles are great for teaching a horse the correct body flexion and removing braces in the horse’s ribs, shoulders and body
  • Circles are a great pattern for teaching a horse to relax
  • Circles are a fundamental pattern for most competitive disciplines
  • Circles can allow a horse to express itself more freely, therefore improving its mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing
  • Circles are good preparation for riding
  • Circles are very useful for teaching a horse transitions as well as improving the quality of the transitions
  • Circles can be a great tool for gaining respect from a horse

The drawbacks of using circles in your training:

  • Circles without a purpose can be very destructive causing a horse to tune out and shut down
  • Circles used in the wrong situation are ineffective
  • Circles are only a tool to serve a purpose and shouldn’t be overused



If you would like to learn how to use circles, with your horse, come along to one of our events or book a private or group lesson and let Ben show you…

In the next part, you will learn how to use circles to solve common horse problems; and what the purpose of circles is… so keep an eye out for the next one!

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