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Are you a flatwork pro?

How much do you know about flatwork? Use your knowledge to guide Lucy and her pony, Harry, through their lesson, then find out if you’re as schooling savvy as you think!

1. Lucy needs to warm Harry up at the start of the lesson. What would be the best warm-up?

A) Walk, trot and canter on both reins, riding lots of shapes and transitions

B) Get up to top speed as quickly as possible

C) Walk on both reins, making sure she rides lots of shapes

2. Lucy’s instructor, Zoe, asks her to change the rein across a long diagonal. Which of these should Lucy choose?

A) K to B

B) K to M

C) A to C

3. Flatwork isn’t Harry’s favourite and he can be a bit lazy, so Zoe asks Lucy to get him walking more actively. How should she do this?

A) Give him a good kick and click with her tongue

B) Jiggle her reins and smack him with her whip

C) Sit up tall and squeeze her legs alternately against his sides

4. To help Lucy get Harry moving forwards more, Zoe suggests she rides some transitions at each marker. How does Lucy know whether she’s being accurate?

A) There’s no way she can tell and has to ask Zoe

B) She makes the transition just as her body passes the marker

C) She makes the transition before she reaches to the marker

5. Lucy asks Harry to halt, and Zoe is impressed because it’s square. What does this mean?

A) Harry’s legs are really straight, like the sides of a square

B) Harry’s feet make a perfect rectangle with one foot in each corner

C) Harry’s doing his best impression of a square, tucking his head right in with his legs as far apart as they can go

6. Lucy asks Harry to canter, but he shoots off way too fast – eek! What should she do to slow him down?

A) Kick him on, he’ll soon get tired and slow down

B) Lean right back, pull on the reins and say “Whoa, Harry!”

C) Make sure she sits up tall and use half-halts

7. When Lucy has Harry back under control, Zoe asks her if she knows the order of footfalls in canter. Which of these is correct?

A) Outside hind, inside hind and outside fore, inside fore

B) Inside fore, outside fore, outside hind, inside hind

C) Outside hind, inside hind and inside fore, outside fore

8. Zoe suggests that Lucy rides some serpentines in trot to get Harry focused again. When should she change her diagonal?

A) Never

B) While she’s on the long side, before she turns across the school

C) As she crosses the centre line

9. It’s time to try a bit of leg-yield. If Lucy’s leg-yielding to the right, which of these sets of aids are correct?

A) Open her right rein, keep her left elbow close to her body, and push him over with her right leg behind the girth

B) Slightly open her left rein and keep her right elbow close to her body. Push him over with her left leg just behind the girth, and support him with her right leg

C) Pull her right rein out to the side and kick him over with her left leg

10. It’s the end of the lesson, and time for a cool down. What should Lucy do?

A) Let Harry chill in the middle of the school while she practises her fastest around-the-world

B) Hold the buckle of his reins and let him wander around

C) Loosen her reins a little and walk Harry around, encouraging him stretch


How did you do?

Answers 1: A, 2: B, 3: C, 4: B, 5: B, 6: C, 7: A, 8: C, 9: B, 10: C

9 or more – TOTAL PRO

Wahoo! You’re a total flatwork whizz! You know loads about schooling – from warming up to basic lateral work. You’re a great friend to school with as you’re totally clued-up and can help your mates. Keep it up!

6–8 – SO CLOSE!

You’re almost there! You’ve learnt a lot but there are some things you need to practise to top-up your knowledge. Soon you’ll know exactly what you’re doing in the school!

5 or below – GETTING THERE

Uh-oh, you’re not a pro just yet but, don’t worry, it will all come together with more time in the saddle and practice. Why not have a few more lessons or ask an experienced friend for some help next time you’re riding in the school? And don’t forget to read all the fab flatwork features in old issues of PONY – they’re full of great tips!

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