Arena Terms

The terms we use in the Arena.

“Rise and Fall with the leg on the wall” : Learn to post the trot correctly! and know your diagonals.

Heels Down: keep your heels down while riding.

Sit Up Sit back: open your chest and sit up. Slouching on your mount is  bad for your and his back. Your balance will be off and if your mount stops suddenly it  is asking to get dumped.

Look Up: keep your chin up, look between your animals ears  and look where you are going, this creates a more relaxed flexible rider.

Breath: some times we find we are holding our breath. Breath deeply and evenly this also creates a relaxed rider and mount.

On the Rail: the wall or the riding ring or arena.

Gate end: means the short end of the arena with the gate, or the end used as the starting point for most of the lessons.

Short end or Far end : means the end of the arenas across from the gate or across from the starting point of most  of the lessons.

Tracking Right: riding along the rail, making right turns.

Tracking left: riding along the rail, making left turns.

Up the Long Side: means from the gate to the far short end.

Down the long side: means from the far short end to the gate end.

Center Line (up or down the): means to start from the mid point of one short end of the arena to the midpoint of the other short end.

Quarter Line( up or down the): means from one short end to the other on a line halfway between the rail and the center line.

Across the arena or across the school: starting from the mid point of one long side to the mid point of the other long side.

Across the long diagonal: when asked to change direction on the diagonal, you’ll ride around the next short end of the arena and as you ride into the long side, you will ride a diagonal line directly to the top of the opposite corner. You will then proceed along the short side of the arena going, in the opposite direction.

Across the short diagonal: when asked to change direction on the short diagonal, you’ll ride as you did for the long diagonal, but instead of heading for the top of the opposite corner you’ll head for a point along the fence or wall that is half way along the length of the arena.

Stride: one complete revolution of the animal’s leg in the footfall pattern of the gait that he is preforming.

Step: one beat in the gate. There are multiple steps in each stride. A step may involve more then one leg.

Inside: usually refers to the inside of the bend of the horse or mule’s body, it also refers to  the inside of the arena. In example when you are tracking to the right with a normal bend, the inside is the right or the side towards the inside of the arena. The exception is when the horse or mule is counter bent or preforming the counter -canter, the inside aids might be on the outside of the arena.  An example would be if the horse or mule is tracking right  on the left lead preforming a counter canter, the  inside aids would be the left aids, and they would be located on the outside rail of the arena.

Outside: the outside bend of the horse or mule’s body, and is usually the outside of the arena.

Enjoy the Ride and the Journey! enjoy your lessons don’t take things too seriously, don’t loose the enjoyment  of riding for yourself or your mount.


The Liberty Horse




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