Circle of doom is a well know exercise to hunters and jumpers a like. It is usually only pulled out when the instructor feels particularly nasty or when it’s raining. This little course consists of 4 jumps, evenly spaced from each other, say at 4-5 strides, to make a circle. No matter the height of the jumps, this exercise will never be easy or master-able. You have to go around and around until you can evenly do all four sections of the circle. I have a very hard time doing this exercise because my horse ignores the poles and plows through them (her way of saying “screw you” to the trainer). The lesson forces her to turn in a way where she uses her hind and doesn’t fall in, something she hates doing. The best advice I was ever given about the Circle of Doom is to constantly look around the turn, DO NOT LOOK AT THE JUMP IN FRONT OF YOU. This makes turning easier. It forces us to run right up at the jump and not chip. Chipping is the worst you can do on this course because the minute the horse stumbles your mind focuses on that and does not follow to the next jump so the whole thing is messed up. The Circle of Doom is the worst course to deal with because as much as my instructor tells me it just takes practice, success depends on my horse and her mindset that day. Haters will say it’s all in the training but anyone with a mare knows that she will make your lesson ten times harder if she’s holding a grudge.