Alignment occurs in two directions; in a column/file or laterally.
Column Alignment: Whether single file or in pairs, refers mainly to centerline work. Alignment should be such that the judge can see only the first rider or riders (in pairs).
Lateral Alignment: Mainly seen when riders turn individually from the long side and go across the arena. The judge should be able to see only the nearest rider when alignment is good. It is the riders’ bodies that are aligned, not the horses’ heads.


A figure formed when riders are coming in pairs from opposite direction on the centerline, and at the quarter markers (ten meters from each end of the arena) perform individual ten meter circles, making the E-B line the centerbetween the circles.

Column or File

Used interchangeably to describe riding one behind the other, either single file or double file (in pairs).

Fan Formation

When coming down the centerline in pairs for a salute, the second pair splits, and the riders fan out to come up alongside of the center pair.


An angular line of travel from the centerline to the side or from the side to the centerline or opposite side of the arena, as opposed to straight across.

Pass Through

Pairs approaching each other, making sufficient room to allow one horse to pass between the approaching two horses.


There are two kinds of spacing; column and lateral.
Column Spacing: Refers to distance between riders when riding single file, or pairs when riding in column. Exact distance is not specified-experienced teams can use nose-to-tail spacing, while beginning teams may prefer more distance; essential that it is uniform throughout each movement. Spacing may be changed from movement to movement, depending on the gait or the pattern.
Lateral Spacing: Refers to the spacing between two or more riders when approaching the judge head-on, especially in the salutes. It would also apply in individual turns across the arena, but not easily seen by the judge at “C.”


Refers to all riders turning at the same moments, such as left and right individual turns; left and right individual circles and half circles, etc. Everyone must start and finish at the same time.

Alignment very often is dependent on synchrony and that is why, in the collective marks on the test sheet, the two are scored together.

Thread the Needle

A movement in which riders coming single file from corners of arena cross each other’s paths alternately on the centerline.