How to ride the ice cream cones!

When it comes to the dessert menu, I LOVE ice cream! And when it comes to the dressage exercise menu, the answer is the same! The ice cream cones are one of my all time favorite exercises and it shows up in First Level Test 1.

In this exercise, you make a 1/2 10 meter circle from B to X. Then make a diagonal line and return to the same rail.

Here are some of the benefits of the ice cream cone exercise:

  •  gets your horse focused, on the aids, and listening
  • improves suppleness left and right
  • tests straightness and alignment

In this week’s video, Mercurio and I show you how to ride the ice cream cones, and we’ve got the drone out again so you can see what we’re doing from the sky!

When you’re doing the ice cream cones in the test, the judges are looking for ALL of the following… Regularity and quality of the trot, shape and size of the 10m half circle,  bend balance and straightness.

Two things to bear in mind to make sure you nail the cones!

  1.  Differentiate a clear change of bend. Lots of people come around the 1/2 circle on one rein and then just ride the straight part with the horse still bent, and then into the opposite circle on the wrong bend. 
  2. Ride the figure accurately. Think about the points you need to hit on the arena. Where do you need left bend, right bend and straightness? Make sure your 10m half circles are the correct size and that you hit the centre line.

There’s a lot to think about, but when done correctly this exercise is incredible for building bend, balance, straightness, and rhythm with your horse. Enjoy this video from the ground and the sky! And let me know in the comments if you find it helpful!


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