The secret to perfect serpentines

Posted 31st January 2024

Get to grips with serpentines with our great ways to brush up on your skills


You’ll come across serpentines in dressage tests right from Intro level, but even if you don’t compete they’re a great way to help your pony be more supple and responsive.

It can take a bit of practice – and planning – to ride perfect serpentines but once you get the hang of things, there’ll be no stopping you!

Top tip

Walk the serpentines on foot first to work out their shape and size.

Shape up!

Are you clear what serpentines actually are? Being clued up on the subject is sooo helpful when it comes to riding them well. Here are some really cool facts about these wiggly shapes…

  • serpentines are made up of half circles of equal size, and straight lines
  • they start and end at A or C
  • the mid point of each half circle will touch the long side of the arena
  • serpentines are usually ridden as either three or four loops but at the higher levels of dressage, they can have five loops
  • with three-loop serpentines, each loop will be around 13m wide when ridden in a 20x40m arena
  • four-loop serpentines have loops of 10m width in a 20x40m arena

Did you know?

When serpentines are ridden in canter you’ll need to change legs as you cross the centre line, either through a transition or by riding a really cool flying change!

Discover more secrets to riding perfect serpentines in Spring PONY – pick up your copy today!

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PONY Magazine - Spring 2024

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