The strategy behind driving a serpentine obstacle on a carriage driving cones course is all about staying one step ahead of the turn.
The other day I was lucky enough to walk into a freshly groomed arena. Well, it was no accident. We had plans to work with the Zen Circle lesson plan, which is best driven on untracked footing. Once we were through with that, I couldn’t resist taking advantage of the clean slate to play with a cones serpentine a little.
Driving a cones serpentine is a little different than driving a serpentine in dressage. A dressage serpentine is defined by nicely rounded half-circles. On a cones course, driving a serpentine that same way eats up a lot of time! So you want to drive as close to the centerline of the serpentine as possible. Here’s a fun short video I pieced together while giving a lesson on driving the cones serpentine:
As you can see from the video, this was starting to morph into a lesson about the outside rein. That’s just one of the cool things this exercise can help you with. It also prepares you and your horse for the Zig-Zag obstacle, which seems to show up on just about every combined driving cones course ever built. They’re really just about the same obstacle, other than the fact that the Zig-Zag has pairs of cones instead of a line of single cones.
What’s our favorite or least favorite thing about driving cones?
Share your experiences, or questions in the comment section below.
question… how far apart are the cones? and for miniatures?
PS… hope to see you in Madison!!
Roughly about 6-8 meters apart. The longer the distance, the easier the exercise.