The Pirouette, the Half-Pirouette and Turn on the Haunches

1. The Pirouette (half-pirouette) is a turn of three hundred and sixty (360) degrees (hundred and eighty -180- degrees) executed on two (2) tracks, with a radius equal to the length of the Horse and the forehand moving around the haunches.
2. Pirouettes (half-pirouettes) are usually carried out at Collected walk or canter, but can also be executed at piaffe.
3. At the pirouette (half-pirouette) the forefeet and the outside hind foot move around the inside hind foot. The inside hind leg describes a circle as small as possible.
4. At whatever pace the pirouette (half-pirouette) is executed, the Horse, slightly bent in the direction in which it is turning, remains “on the bit” with light contact, turning smoothly around, and maintaining sequence and timing of footfalls of that pace. The poll remains the highest point during the entire movement.
5. During the pirouettes (half-pirouettes), the Horse should maintain its activity (walk also included) and never move backwards or sideways.
6. In executing the pirouette or the half-pirouette in canter, the Athlete should maintain lightness of the Horse while accentuating the collection. The Horse’s hindquarters are well engaged and lowered and show a good flexion of the joints. An integral part of the movement is the quality of the canter strides before and after the pirouette. The strides should show an increased activity and collection before the pirouette and the balance should be maintained at the end of the pirouette.
Aims of the pirouette and half-pirouette in canter: To demonstrate the willingness of the Horse to turn around the inside hind leg on a small radius, slightly bent in the direction of the turn while maintaining the activity and the clarity of the canter, the straightness and the balance before and after the figure and clear canter strides during the turn. In the pirouette or half-pirouette in canter, the Judges should be able to recognize a real canter stride although the feet of the diagonal – inside hind leg, outside front leg – are not touching the ground simultaneously.
Pirouette 1

Pirouette and half-pirouette in canter
7. The quality of the pirouettes (half-pirouettes) is judged according to the suppleness, lightness and regularity, and the precision and smoothness of the entrance and exit. Pirouettes (halfpirouettes) in canter should be executed in six (6) to eight (8) strides – full pirouettes – and
three to four (4) strides – half-pirouette.
8. Half-pirouettes in walk (one-hundred and eighty -180- degrees) are executed out of Collected walk with the collection being maintained throughout the exercise. When the Horse exits the half-pirouette it returns to the initial track without crossing the hind legs.
Pirouette 2

9. Turn on the haunches from walk. For younger Horses that are still not able to show Collected walk the “turn on the haunches” is an exercise to prepare the Horse for collection. The “turn on the haunches” is executed out of Medium walk prepared by half halts to shorten the steps a little and to improve the ability to bend the joints of the hindquarters. The Horse does not halt before or after the turn. The “turn on the haunches” can be executed on a larger radius (approx. ½m) than the pirouette in walk, but the demands of the training scale concerning rhythm, contact, activity and straightness are the same.
10. Turn on the haunches from halt to halt (one-hundred and eighty -180- degrees). To maintain the forward tendency of the movement one (1) or two (2) forward steps at the beginning of the turn are permitted. The same criteria apply as for the turn on the haunches from walk.

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