The figures of manege include all the different known movements which a horse executes during training or after it is trained. The number is great and the character varied; but they are all compounded from only six elements. These are: forward, backward, turn to the right, turn to the left, half haunches to the right, and half haunches to the left, all done at walk, trot, and gallop.
The masters before Baucher had a wider range of figures than since his day, for the reason that they trained from movement to position, instead of from position to movement, as is now the practice except for the army, hunting, and polo. The progression for the ordinary equitation has, however, remained the same, and consists of the following figures: the double; the changes of direction or changes of hand; the diagonal; the half-volte, reversed half-volte, and volte; the circle, with change upon the circle and change of circle; the figure eight; the half-passage with head to the wall and with croup to the wall; the shoulder in; the centre-change of hand.
These movements, done at walk, trot, and gallop, have long constituted, and still constitute, the complete education of the horse. A park hack is not considered fully trained until it can execute these movements, which are, indeed, proof of its good manners. They are, moreover, no disadvantage for a promenade horse which is to be ridden by the same esquire who trained it; though the results are most distressing to a rider of less equestrian tact.
The walk of manege is simply a very slow walk, well cadenced, the steps equal and regular, and with the action of the legs less forward, but very much higher than in the ordinary walk.
It cannot be obtained except under the most perfect equilibrium, while the fingering must be even more precise than for the piaffer and the backward trot, which are derived from it. The rider's legs must maintain the center of gravity always exactly between the forces of the front and rear limbs, not allowing it the least motion from side to side, but only up and down with the step. The seat must be especially accurate, and the contact absolutely permanent. The least alteration of the balance will change the walk to the trot, if forward, or, if backward, will stop the horse.
To obtain the walk of manege, the rider gradually diminishes the speed of the ordinary walk, keeping the state of equilibrium as complete as possible. By the effects of opposition coupled with great accuracy of seat, and by the diagonal effect repeated in tempo, he asks slower and slower steps, the horse's action becoming higher and higher as the stride is shorter and less quick.
It is impossible to advise just when in the course of the training to begin the walk of manege. It is useless to attempt it before the horse has learned to keep in equilibrium. It is well not to try for too slow or too high an action, to study the horse, and at the first sign of success, to yield everything, caress, dismount, and stop the lesson. Two, four, or six steps are sufficient at one time, and should be followed by rest and distraction.
Take special pains to prevent the two possible irregularities, the acculer, or getting behind the hand, and the "magpie jump." If either appears, stop the practice of the figure and devote at least fifteen days to sending the horse forward strongly against the bit, equally and at the two hands. This is the only cure for these irregularities or defenses.
Take care not to provoke rearing or the croupade by too much precipitancy in your demands. Rearing will probably be caused by fingering in wrong tempo; the croupade by beginning too early the alternate effect of the legs, so that the signal to lift one biped comes before the other is back on the ground, and there is a brief interval when both are on the ground.
Do not expect to secure a perfect walk of manege until after you have trained two or three horses. Be satisfied at first with a few steps at the gait, and occasional changes of direction. The great point is to perfect your own equestrian tact. When that is done, all your difficulties are easily surmounted. The walk of manege is the highest proof of the state of equilibrium, and you must learn to feel the horse under you flexing all its joints, developing its power, and cadencing its walk with a great but calm ardor, slow and high. When a horse has attained to the walk of manege, in complete equilibrium, every feat of the scientific equitation becomes possible both to rider and to steed.
"To enter the corner" is a manege expression meaning not to let the horse pass the corner of the enclosure close in or far out at its own will.
The manege is commonly rectangular, with two long and two short sides and a surrounding wall. The horse travels straight along the sides, but changes direction at the angles, to the right if being ridden with its right side toward the center—"at right hand" as it is called—to the left if the other way. Naturally, the animal tends to follow the barrier, and will, therefore, instinctively and of its own volition, make the turn before getting quite to the corner, or else will put its head against the wall and stop. In either case, the rider loses an opportunity to practice the management of his mount.For in a manege of ordinary size, say one hundred and fifty feet by seventy, a horse in the course of an hour's lesson will turn a corner about two hundred and forty times, half at the right hand, half at the left. If, then, the rider directs the animal at each turn, he obtains valuable practice in guiding his mount, and so learns to perform the act intuitively and without effort. Otherwise, not only does the rider miss the opportunity, but, in addition, the horse, not knowing the difference between being straight and being crooked, gets the habit of crossing its legs, and when asked to go forward and straight, carries its rider to the center of the area.
The ancient and the mediæval equitation had it that the turn to the right is to be made by means of the right rein of snaffle or bit and the left leg. Baucher agrees with this. According to him, the right rein flexes the neck to the right. The left leg prevents the haunches from swinging toward the left, while the right leg sends the rear limbs along the arc of a circle of greater or smaller radius. Fillis, though more practical than Baucher, grants that Baucher's opinion has been generally accepted.
But to turn to the right by means of right leg and right rein involves the principle of the lateral equitation, with all its practical errors, a principle which cannot be accepted by the scientific equitation. It is not merely the horse's shoulders which turn; it is the entire horse. The horse is first straight and upon the rider's hand. Then the rider gives the new direction by the reins, and by his legs impels the animal in it. But, of course, the effect of the right rein is to send the haunches toward the left, so that the horse is no longer straight. Then comes the effect of the left leg to keep it straight by preventing the swing of the haunches to the left. But under the impulse of the left leg alone, the horse executes a pirouette, haunches pushed to the right by the rider's left leg, shoulders pulled to the right by the right rein.
I myself hold to a more rational theory, which differs from the principle of the old lateral equitation, and also from the reasoned equitation of Baucher and Fillis. The horse is either assembled or it is not. If it is not, go as you please. The horse makes the turn, and that is all. If the horse is assembled, the rider controls the center of gravity. This is sine qua non for the scientific equitation, which, moreover, admits at the walk and trot no other effects than the diagonal, either to obtain the equilibrium or to execute any movement. The gallop, which is the only lateral gait, requires other effects for changes of direction, of which more shortly.
When the horse is traveling straight at the walk, its feet follow the two parallel lines AC and BD, by a diagonal stride in which BC and AD support alternately the center of gravity at O. In order for the horse to turn to the right, the line CD moves to the position PL, it sends following the arcs of concentric circles, as the center of gravity travels from O to M; otherwise the equilibrium will be lost. Evidently, the two left legs must travel farther than the two right legs.
But the length of the stride does not affect the velocity or the momentum; consequently, it does not change the center of gravity. The left front leg, if it is to gain more ground than the right, must be unloaded, since the rule is that any leg cannot leave the ground before the weight which it carries has been transferred to another support. This we accomplish by flexing the head slightly to the left, and at the same time we establish the fixed point of the rhomboidus and mastoido-humeralis muscles at the left side of the atlas region. Thereupon the unloaded left shoulder will cover the longer distance CL while the loaded right shoulder is covering the shorter distance DP and serving as pivot and support for the center of gravity, which remains on OM.But for the impulsion of the hind quarters, both the rider's legs are necessary. The left prevents the haunches from yielding to the effect of the right, and thus departing from the proper path ACL. The right leg of the rider pushes forward the right hind leg of the horse, and since this is prevented from moving toward the left off the line BDP, the center of gravity must remain on the line OM; and momentum, velocity, and equilibrium remain altered.
The same movement at the trot is executed in accord with the same principles and by the same means. The rider, however, needs to make a somewhat more forcible effect to obtain the same result—a fact which goes to confirm this theory of change of direction in diagonal.
The idea of using the left rein for a turn to the right is bound to give rise to much discussion. But the reader is already familiar with the rein of contraction, or guiding by the neck, where the rider employs his right leg, and at the same time, by carrying his hand to the right, draws on the left rein. This new principle, created by myself, I have considered and practiced long years. The results convince me of its truth.
The horse mounted by a rider carries a very considerable weight, a fact which both Baucher and Fillis have completely neglected. Baucher, to be sure, has recognized the seat as a third means of control. But what is the seat, if the weight supported by it is ignored? These two masters advocate, with reason, collection, the assemblage of all the forces of the animal at a center, and the resulting state of equilibrium. The horse is placed in this state by the effects of hand and legs, and maintained there by the same means. They point out, rightly, that the horse in equilibrium is comparable to a large ball, in contact with the ground at a single point, so that the least weight added to one side starts the movement in that direction. When, therefore, a horse is in equilibrium, the shifting of the rider's weight from his left haunch to his right will turn the horse and send him forward to the right. Are we, then, outside the natural laws of motion? No. We are obeying the law which teaches that a body in motion will continue to move along the same straight line until another force interferes. This other force is the rider's weight, which, when applied at one side of the center of gravity, displaces this and forces the horse to turn in that direction.
All this is undeniable. It is easy, therefore, to understand the fights of these two masters with the horses educated by them. The horses walked and trotted in diagonal. The riders employed the lateral effects. The horses galloped in lateral. The riders, to train them to that gait, used a half-diagonal effect. Naturally, the horses became confused between their instinctive gaits and the riders' effects which were flatly contrary to them.
However, if a horse is not in a state of equilibrium, this change of weight will have no effect, and the scientific equitation is not concerned with the matter.
The movement is simple, and easy of execution for the experienced rider with a horse that is sufficiently advanced with its education. The essential point is to manage correctly the first change of direction, and then to guide the horse exactly straight across to the other side of the manege for the second change which completes the double. At first view, it looks very easy to do this; but in practice it is not so simple, and the maneuver is asked of the horse precisely in order to accustom it to change and return straight. The rider also will find the double educative if he does it correctly. The point is to cure any hesitation on the part of the horse in turning to either side, and to get it to place itself exactly straight from head to croup as soon as it has turned. The rider who can do the double correctly at walk, trot, and gallop is on the road toward the perfect education of his horse.
Change of hand is very useful in training horses to be equal in their gaits, and also for teaching riders to execute figures on either side when instruction is given in classes.Both the old and the newer schools of equitation prescribe that in riding at the right hand—that is to say, with right side toward the center of the ring—both reins of the bit, together with the left rein of the snaffle, are to be held in the left hand, while the right rein of the snaffle alone is to be held in the
The scientific equitation, on the other hand, prescribes that, in riding at the right hand, the two reins of the bit and the right rein of the snaffle shall be in the right hand and the left snaffle rein in the left, for all movements in diagonal, that is to say, at walk and trot. But for movements at the gallop, the curb reins are to be transferred to the left hand and only the snaffle rein held in the right, because the gallop is a lateral gait.
When riding at the right hand, the horseman may change hand by means of a great variety of movements—changes in width, in length, in diagonal, the half-volte, or the reversed half-volte, all of which will be discussed shortly. All changes of hand are, however, really nothing but changes of direction. But since in reversing the side which is toward the center of the ring, there has to be also a reversing of the position of the reins in the hands, changes of direction have come to be called changes of hand.
The circle is a figure of manege executed near the center of the ring by a single horseman, or by several horsemen following one another. This figure may also be executed on a road, a piste, or a field.The ancient equitation and that of the Middle Ages used the circle to train the horse to bend its spine in the direction of the turn, by yielding to the lateral effects of hand and legs, but without alteration of gait. It was employed especially to teach the
This movement, very easy in the lateral equitation, is much more complicated in the reasoned equitation at the trot and walk. In this case, the center of gravity has to be maintained by the rider's seat, while at the same time, in circling to the right, the horse's neck has to be inclined slightly to the left, in order to unload the left front leg, so that this may gain more ground than its mate, which acts more or less as a pivot. Meanwhile, the rider's right leg is impelling the horse's right hind leg around the circular path, and his left leg is preventing the haunches from getting away toward the left at the effect of his right.
At the gallop, circling to the right, the position and the effects of the rider's legs are the same, except that now the horse's nose is carried a little to the right, by the action of the snaffle, in order to unload the right fore leg, which now has to be lifted higher than the left and to gain more ground. The center of gravity is now more on the right side, but always in the middle, though slightly back under the rider's right haunch.
Doubles upon the circle are executed by crossing on a diameter and continuing once more along the circumference at the same hand. If, however, the rider, after passing the center, turns in the other direction on the circumference, he is said to execute a change of hand on the circle. Evidently, the circle is merely a continuation of the two voltes, in which the horse is maintained upon the circular line.
The important point in this work on the circle is to keep the horse, whether walking, trotting, or galloping, always with all four feet in the circular path, never letting the hind quarters stray inside or outside the fixed line. Evidently, in circling at the right hand, the partial flexion of the head to the right will tend to throw the haunches outside the true path, so that it requires a very accurate effect of the rider's outside leg to correct this fault to just the right degree. Moreover, the circle itself, throughout the movement, should remain of precisely the same size, in spite of the tendency to become smaller or larger.
The volte is a circular movement, executed in the manege or outside, in which the horse changes direction in three steps of one yard each, and in twelve steps completes the circle.
Before the days of the scientific equitation, the volte was asked at all three gaits by the lateral effects. The new equitation asks the volte at walk and trot by means of the diagonal effects, and only at the gallop by means of the lateral. In this, I am completely opposed to the principles of my predecessors, Baucher, Fillis, Anderson, and their contemporaries.Consider, therefore, just what is involved in the execution of a volte, let us say to the right. The horse, in order to send its inert weight to the right while keeping the center of gravity at the middle point of the medial plane, must dispose its legs in the following manner: The right front leg is the chief point of support, since it is nearer the center; but the left leg, since it is farther away from the center, travels the longer path. The right hind leg has to do more work than the left, since in addition to supporting its share of the weight, it does more than its share in driving the body forward.
It follows from this that at walk and trot the proper effects for the volte are a very limited flexion of the head to the left, pressure of the rider's right leg close behind the girth, and pressure of the left leg farther back, to keep the horse's left hind leg on the circular line. At the gallop, on the contrary, the flexion of the head is to the right, to unload the right front leg and allow it to gain more ground than the left. The effects of the legs are, however, exactly the same as for the diagonal gaits. The rider's right leg maintains the gallop to the right by its stronger effect on the horse's right hind leg, while his left leg holds the rear limbs in the circle.
Now, the walk and trot are movements made in diagonal. Why, then, ask a creature, which naturally and by instinct moves in diagonal, to turn by lateral effects? Fillis himself had doubts concerning the propriety of this method of changing direction; for after considering the question he adds, "The opinion of Baucher has prevailed and the lateral effect has been accepted." But in the lateral effect, the right rein flexes the horse's neck to the right, and therefore loads the left front leg, although this has to gain more ground than the unloaded right. Meanwhile, the rider's left leg pushes the haunches to the right and upon the right hind leg, directing these to the right instead of to the left in order to turn the horse to the right. It is even the more surprising that these same masters execute the volte at the gallop by the very same means as at the walk and trot, notwithstanding the fact that these gaits involve an entirely different disposition of the mechanism.
My own honest opinion is that these masters were asking, by lateral effects, movements which the horse executed by diagonal gaits, and so confused their mounts thereby that, when they attempted such diagonal movements as the piaffer, passage, Spanish walk, and Spanish trot, the animals resisted. The result was quarrels and fights between man and horse. I, on the other hand, never have fights. When my horse walks or trots, in diagonal, all movements are asked by diagonal effects. But when the horse gallops, in lateral, all movements are asked by lateral effects. My mount has always all its natural forces in their instinctive relation.
In executing the half-volte, the horse makes two successive changes of direction, so that he faces the opposite way from his original position. Suppose, for example, the horse is traveling along a piste, at right hand, and near the wall. A change of direction at the corner of the manege, followed immediately by another, places the animal about three steps away from the wall and facing toward what was the rear. Thereupon, moving on a diagonal line, the horse returns to the piste.
The half-volte is, then, simple enough as a movement of the ordinary equitation. It becomes decidely complicated when performed as a figure of the reasoned equitation. The rider, as above, employs the left diagonal effect to reverse the direction of the horse's movement; and then immediately changes to the right diagonal effect to return to the piste by means of a half-passage of twelve steps at the most. The formula is, therefore, for walk and trot: left rein; right leg near the girth, to maintain the hind hand for the about-face; then, when the two changes of direction are complete, right rein, left leg behind the girth, right leg near the girth, to maintain the regularity of the forward action during the half-passage.
At the gallop, the means are still more complicated. The horse is at the right hand and leading to the right. The procedure is, therefore: right rein, right leg near the girth, left leg behind the girth to maintain the haunches during the turn; then, for the half-passage, left leg behind the girth to push the horse to the right. As the horse comes once more to the piste, the action becomes: left rein and left leg to control the left lateral biped, right leg to maintain the haunches straight and to change the lead from right to left, since we are now riding at left hand.
One should practice the half-volte several times in the simpler form before trying to add the half-passage, and should not attempt the latter movement until the figure is perfectly clear in the mind. But the ordinary half-volte is nothing more than the ordinary pirouette, taken at walk, trot, or gallop, and continued by the twelve steps of the half-passage with a change of lead.
In the reversed half-volte, the horse travels over the same path as in the direct figure, but in the opposite direction. Thus, for the reversed half-volte, done at the right hand, a half-passage to the right of twelve steps takes the animal away from the wall of the manege. Then two changes of direction or a half-circle to the left complete the return to the wall with an about-face and a change of hand.The means are, therefore, for the half-passage at walk or trot, the right diagonal effect—right rein, right leg near the girth, and the haunches pushed over to the right by the left leg behind the girth—with continuance of the same effect to produce the two changes of direction, until the horse is once more straight, but at the opposite hand.
At the gallop, the horse makes the half-passage leading to the right; the lead then changes to the left for the two changes of direction. Consequently, after the completion of the half -passage, the left rein and the left leg alter the lead, while the right leg prevents the haunches from going too far to the right and maintains the gallop by keeping the horse inclined upon the circular line.
If the horse's education has been wisely progressive, especially if the progress has not been too rapid, the two half-voltes are easily performed simply by the master's equestrian tact. But if the training has been irregular, then they become complicated and difficult. In this case, it is better to have the horse move in a straight line in place of the half-passage, changing the lead when necessary. Done in this way, the figure belongs to the ordinary or lateral equitation. Properly, however, it is twelve steps of the half-passage, completed by a reversed pirouette at walk, trot, or gallop.
The figure eight involves two circles, one to the right, the other to the left, done at the center of the manege or anywhere away from walls.The older methodists, both of the Middle Ages and of modern times, prescribed the lateral effects of hand and legs in order to hold the horse's entire body, from front limbs to rear, flexed upon the circle on which it travels. It is necessary for this figure that the horse's education shall be somewhat advanced, in order that the curve of the spine may conform to that of the path. When, in addition to this, the flexion has to reverse with each new circle, the difficulty is much increased, so that the figure demands great suppleness in, and perfect collection on the part of, the horse, and for the rider an equestrian tact sufficient to enable him to reverse his effects at each change of circle without disturbing the equilibrium of his mount.
The figure eight has been a great deal used for suppling the horse, and is still employed for this purpose by modern teachers and in military schools. The scientific equitation, however, comes to it only after the horse is completely suppled. Inexperienced trainers often utilize the figure to teach a horse to change lead; and this method is harmless and practical. Judges at horse shows have the competitors execute the figure eight in order to discover the degree of suppleness and training of the horses. It serves also as a test for the side and the limb affected by lameness.
Shoulder-in is an old air of manege, in which the horse moves sidewise. It differs from the half-passage in that it is performed in lateral, whereas the half-passage is in diagonal. The name is a misnomer. Possibly it arose from the fact that in executing the figure the horse is usually headed toward the center of the manege with croup toward the wall.
To obtain the shoulder-in, from left to right, the rider, having his mount in hand and forward, increases the pull of the left rein to flex the head and neck slightly to the left. At the same time, he increases also the effect of his left leg, carrying it a little backward on the flank, and thus pushes the haunches toward the right. Meanwhile, the right rein prevents the complete flexion of the neck to the left, and forces the left shoulder toward the right in front of the right leg.
The result is that the horse's left front leg passes in front of and across the right, while at the same time the left hind leg also passes in front of and across its mate. Thereupon, the horse, in order not to fall, steps out to the right with both right legs, and the first step of the shoulder-in is completed. Continuing the same effects continues the movement.But the student, who considers anatomically the mechanism of the horse and its action in the various movements, will agree with the anatomist that the muscles and articulations of the horse's shoulder are not designed to allow natural movements of the humerus and scapula in any direction except forward and back. The horse, in short, is not a crab, built to go sidewise. The shoulder-in and the half-passage are therefore unnatural contortions compelled by riders who know no better.
This air can be asked of the horse only after it has learned to cede from the neck at the effects of the reins and from the haunches at the effect of the legs. To obtain the movement, the horse, walking at left hand, is first stopped, and then made to execute a reversed pirouette, by means of the rider's right leg and a quarter flexion of the head to the left by means of the left rein. Thus, the horse's head stays against the wall, while the haunches make a half-circle to the left. This first movement is complete when the horse has faced about and is at the right hand. Immediately thereupon the rider caresses the horse's right flank. The position of collection is again asked, and the horse carried forward at right hand. After a few steps, the animal is again halted and put through the reversed pirouette from left to right.
In all this, the rider has to remember that the employment of one of his legs does not mean the complete cessation of the effect of the other, and he has also always to bear in mind the principle, sine qua non, forward, forward, always. Consequently, when the reversed pirouette is asked from right to left, the rider's right leg first sends the horse forward.As soon as the horse understands the reversed pirouette after being stopped, the rider has it execute the same movement without the stop. When this is mastered, the rider, still keeping the animal moving forward by the effect of his inside leg, by repeated effects of the left leg, causes the horse to execute two or three steps of the reversed pirouette while still gaining ground forward, the head against the wall and the haunches toward the center of the
manege. After a few steps of this, the horse is again sent forward; and after a few more steps, the half-passage is again asked. When the horse executes this movement calmly and with ease, the rider first asks the half-passage, and then completes the movement by half a reversed pirouette, to complete the change of hand without stopping. The horse being now at the new hand, the half-passage is again asked, and as before completed by a reversed pirouette after a few steps at the new hand.
When the horse does the half-passage correctly with its head against the wall, it is removed from the barrier by a change of hand in diagonal. During the entire time of this diagonal change, the horse will be kept straight. But when it comes to within five to seven steps of the wall at the new hand, the rider will begin the half-passage, so as to reach the wall at least ten steps from the corner.
For example, the rider, at right hand, makes the diagonal change of hand by going straight through the center of the ring, and, having passed this, keeps straight on until the horse is five, six, or seven steps from the wall. Here, he asks the half-passage from left to right—right leg for forward, right rein and augmentation of the effect of the left leg for the half-passage. When, by this movement, the horse is brought parallel to the wall, the rider stops the horse, caresses its left flank, and keeps it standing still for some moments to allow the movement to fix itself in its memory. It is then carried forward to pass the corner.The rider, now at the left hand, once more asks the diagonal change of hand and the half-passage with everything now reversed. When the five to seven steps of the half-passage are done correctly, their number is progressively but moderately increased, until finally the entire diagonal change of hand is made by means of the half-passage. When the animal is able to cross the ring at the half-passage correctly, it is taught the original movement with its croup, instead of its head, against the wall. For this, the rider, after passing the corner of the manege and starting down the long side, begins an ordinary diagonal change with the horse straight.
But as soon as the horse has completed, at most, four steps of this movement, it is made to execute a half-passage, with head toward the center of the ring and tail toward the wall. After a few steps of the half-passage, the horse is again sent forward, parallel to the wall but four steps out, and then is brought back to the wall, at the same hand as at the beginning, by a few steps of another half-passage. With moderate progress at each lesson, the horse is, after a few days, brought to travel the entire length of the side of the manege at the half-passage.
By the same progression as for the half-passage at the walk, the horse is next trained to the half-passage at the trot.
When this is well executed, then comes the shoulder-in at the gallop. Galloping to the right hand, head against the wall, does not need a change of lead. But for the change of hand diagonally, the horse must change the lead when the change of hand is completed and before passing the corner. So too, for the shoulder-in with the horse's head toward the center of the enclosure and the croup toward the wall, the horse has to be galloping at the opposite hand.If, for example, the rider is at right hand and wishes to execute the shoulder-in from right to left, at the same hand, over a line parallel to the long side of the manege, and with the horse's head toward the center and the croup to the wall, it is evident that the first part of the movement which puts the head inward must be done with a right lead. Then for the shoulder-in, the lead must change from right to left. But when the horse once more travels straight along the wall, it is, as before, at the right hand and must lead once more to the right. At first, however, it is better to decompose the movement, changing from the gallop to the trot, at the end of each portion, and then returning once more to the gallop with the proper lead. When, however, the horse makes the change of lead in the course of the movement, these changes are made without pause or change of gait.
CONTRE-CHANGE of hand is a figure of manege resembling the square. After the horse has passed the short side of the ring and has taken about ten steps on the long side, the rider begins a diagonal change of direction by the half-passage. Arrived at the point, A, ten steps from the center, O, of the manege, the horse is put straight again for twenty steps to B; and after that returns to the long side by a half-passage at C, at the same hand as before the execution of the figure.
At the walk the figure is quite complicated if the tempo of the gait is regular; but the trot is more complicated, because of the difficulty in obtaining the tempo and the regular number of steps.
At the gallop, the difficulties are multiplied by the three changes of lead. The rider being at the right hand before the movement, executes the half-passage leading to the right to A or B, at which point the lead has to be changed from right to left to execute the half-passage from B to C. Arrived at C, the lead is to the left and has to be changed to the right at C. Finally, the horse, now returned to the right-hand lead, has to turn the corner at this new hand, which is the same as that before the execution of the figure.