Training Your Horse to Make a Triangle

Once you have mastered “the square,” with it’s 90° quarter turns, and your horse is “listening” to your seat bones, you can begin to transition to the “triangle.”Find a new set of distant targets, trees, fence posts, outbuildings, etc., and start making a triangle about 30 or 40 feet on a side. You will make a 60° turn, which is just a little “tighter” than the quarter turn. Look for your horse’s front foot to reach out a little toward the side of the turn at each step of the corners. The horse may eventually start to anticipate the turn and begin to turn-in early, before he gets to the spot you have in mind. Then you will need to hold him out of the turn with your inside supporting leg until you “get to the base.” Only let him turn at the spot that you have picked. When you open the inside leg and let gravity drop your inside seat bone into the saddle, (don’t lean!) the horse will make the turn more easily.

“Finally, you let me turn!”

This exercise, following the exercise on the Square, is done on both directions, until the turn requests are almost more mental than physical. Like Ruy Rosado, the Portuguese horse judge said,

“you think it, he does it!”

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