Perfecting the Pirouette with Crystal Kroetch

If anyone doubts the importance of the canter pirouette in dressage, one need look no further than the tests themselves. A working half-pirouette is introduced at Fourth Level Test 2, and half- or full pirouettes in both directions are in every test all the way through the Grand Prix Special. They are the only canter movement that always has a coefficient of two; in fact, other than in the Grand Prix test, the canter pirouette is the only canter movement with a coefficient, which effectively doubles its value.The canter pirouette could be considered the single most important movement to perform well in dressage tests at Fourth Level and above, since it counts for more than any other exercise. Having trained many horses and riders from the lower levels to Grand Prix, Crystal Kroetch goes to a few specific exercises when schooling the pirouettes. “I call it the piaffe of the…

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