Seriously, who invented the dressage arena? Well, it was the German cavalry, I think, but that’s beside the point. The main problem with this space is that it’s small. If you want to ride in a small space for more than two minutes, you’ll need to turn around and if you turn around, you’re doing a semi-circle and this leads on to circles. Oh boy.
The 20m circle is my nemesis, my weakness, the thing that I’d rather do … less of. Over the last few years I’ve had variously successful tussles with my arch enemy. Some judges have even made quite nice remarks on my test sheets about team DG’s ability to undertake this exercise, but it’s never consistent.
Previous instructors have girded their loins and attempted to assist, but conversations generally follow the same format:
Me: “Square … I’ll go round and do it again”
Me: “Sausage. Sorry, can’t stop looking at the water butt. I’ll try again”
Instructor: “Were you trying to hit the track?”
Me: “Can we do transitions instead?”
I mention all this, because the dreaded circle will be rearing its head again shortly, with literally, a new twist. My neck. Dystonia forces my neck round to the left, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this affects the whole process of doing this essential exercise.
Wish me luck.