2 + 2 =13
The 2 + 2 =13 Pattern!
The pattern is created with 13 markers, in the shape of a giant plus sign, uses 2 participants (you and your horse) and has just too many options to be believed! This opens up so many different ways for you to play with circles, weaves, figures of 8, and more. It's like those puzzles where they ask, "How many circles can you find in this picture?" For those of you who need new ways to be creative with circles or have the kind of horse that needs variety, the 2 plus 2 = 13 Pattern is perfect!
For those of you who want lines, not circles and weaves, here's the same patern using straight lines and turns. Use the turns and corners for practicing turns on the forehand and hindquarters, walk, trot or canter between the cones, right and left turns - it's all in there! Enjoy!
The Narrow/Wide ZigZag is an excellent exercise for incorporating circles and straight lines.
It can be done at the walk or trot, freestyle or with finesse.
Start on the wide side and decrease your figure 8's to the narrow end. Or vise versa.
For online it's a fantastic moving Figure 8 Game also! Get a good Figure 8 at the narrow spot, then send to the middle one for a few Figure 8's, then to the largest one.
A few new ideas for the Weave.
This pattern - 2 rows of 4 cones
holds within it multiple patterns. Here are just a few - feel free to share if you come up with a new pattern using this Weave placement.
Do 2 figure 8s
Let your horse continue onto a circle after finishing the second figure 8
Make sure you incorporate the cones into the circle
Do 2 circles or 0s
Then after completing the 2nd circle come back to the figure 8 pattern with a change of direction
Then do one figure 8
At that point you can ask for a FLC if you are cantering.
BE sure to stay in one area for all of the pattern and use correct body language for the change between the 8's and the circles. You may have to move your feet to help the horse find the correct answer or to be centered on the circle. You should not leave the "golden path".
When you do the pattern again, allow the horse to come off the figure 8 in the opposite direction to circle both ways.
The purpose of the pattern - it combines the figure 8 and circling to add variety/forward motion and it can be used to build to flying changes. Also gets the horse asking questions, "Are we doing another circle or moving to the figure 8 this time?"
SWING THE SHOULDERS - A great online game to get your horse connected to your body language. Try it on line at first, then at liberty.
In this diagram, you are walking to the left, your horse is on your right (See the little R?) along a fence.
You'll step back to open a bit of space, and Swing your Shoulders to the right. Your horse will come off the wall and turn toward you.
Continue Swinging your Shoulders to the right allowing your horse to pass by.
Now your horse is on your left and you proceed moving forward to the right.
Start out slowly. Get this good at the walk, try the trot, then try at liberty. Remember your bubble and how to best use it to your advantage. This also incorporated Drive and Draw, and is an excellent challenge to see if your body language can "talk" to your horse.
Give this 4 pole pattern a try. It encompasses pole work with a cloverleaf. Be sure to check your spacing for your horse's stride and gait. Use it for right and left hand turns. To add variety, stop over one of the poles and go sideways. Or stop at the end and back through the last space.
Horses love patterns! And these pole patterns are fun and challenging.
Start out slow, measuring the poles for a walk stride at about 3', trot 4.5' and canter 10' - 12'. Check your horse's stride to see where they are comfortable. Or, if the distance is long or short for them can you help them to lengthen or shorten their stride to match the pole distances? Aim for the center of the poles as you cross over them.