View Full Version : Correct Serpentines.
03-22-2009, 01:40 PM
I was at a show last weekend watching the UPHA Equitation class so the pattern was a serpentine.
I have always been taught that your horse should NOT be curved the whole time during the pattern. I learned that that is a big "no no". Your horse should be straight for about a step and that is when you change your diagonal and should have his whole body on the rail for a step. The winner of the UPHA class however had her horse curved the entire time. Not a single step with her horse straight. So, which is the correct way of doing it?
03-22-2009, 04:49 PM
At WWU Ms. Lampe teaches us that there should be just one straight step between half-circles. However, not having one straight step is probably not considered that huge of a fault. Perhaps the rider did everything else better?
03-22-2009, 06:33 PM
The rider could have maybe guided her horse better, had smoother diagonal changes, looked around nicely etc. There are many things that could go into affect. Now if there was someone who did all or most of the above (maybe more) and the correct serpentine they should be placed above someone who didn't.
03-22-2009, 07:58 PM
A serpentine is a series of half circles. When a horse is on a circle it is (or should be) bent in the direction of travel from head to tail, to what degree depends on the size of the circle. There should be no straight steps save for the ones at the center line where you are changing the bend of your horse.
You may have been told to make a "straight" step at the middle of your half circle by an instructor because you were making your half circles too zig-zagy or too shallow.
To visualize your serpentines better in can help to ride a circle and a half serpentine in a fresh dragged arena so you can see your tracks. Your full circles should all be even in size and "chained" together for just a bit at the point where they touch
And as others have pointed out the class is much more then the geometric correctness of the serpentine :)
03-22-2009, 08:48 PM
You also need to keep in mind the specifics of judging the class. The following comes directly from the UPHA website:
Judging in all UPHA Challenge Cup qualifying classes is based 60% on rail work and 40% on the individual workout.
Please also keep in mind that what you see from outside the ring is completely different from what things look like inside the ring. :D
03-27-2009, 12:09 AM
Like most of the posts have suggested prior to mine, a serpentine is a series of 4 half circles... The changing of direction requires horse and rider to become perpendicular to the center line of the serpentine for 1 step or 1/2 of a stride. This point is where your diagonal change occurs.
Although this is the correct format, judges may consider other things to be of a higher standard when judging, and many judges at qualifying shows are not true equitation judges. All of these factors play into the outcome of a class.
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