It’s incredibly easy to fall into the egg-timer trap when riding a figure of eight. And when someone does point it out you wonder why nobody else has!
A figure eight should, and this may come as a surprise, look like an 8, made up of two equal sized circles. Doing it this way allows far more bending for the horse, uses the whole arena, and helps get the aids correct (if they aren’t the circle won’t be either).
In a standard 20x40m arena one could be formed from 20m circles at A and X, or from 10m circles at B and X.
From A on the left rein:
- A: Half 20m circle left to X
- X: 20m circle right (to C, then back to X)
- X: Half 20m circle left to A
And don’t forget to change your trot diagonal or canter lead at X.