At the gallop, the horse makes the half-passage leading to the right; the lead then changes to the left for the two changes of direction. Consequently, after the completion of the half -passage, the left rein and the left leg alter the lead, while the right leg prevents the haunches from going too far to the right and maintains the gallop by keeping the horse inclined upon the circular line.
If the horse's education has been wisely progressive, especially if the progress has not been too rapid, the two half-voltes are easily performed simply by the master's equestrian tact. But if the training has been irregular, then they become complicated and difficult. In this case, it is better to have the horse move in a straight line in place of the half-passage, changing the lead when necessary. Done in this way, the figure belongs to the ordinary or lateral equitation. Properly, however, it is twelve steps of the half-passage, completed by a reversed pirouette at walk, trot, or gallop.
The figure eight involves two circles, one to the right, the other to the left, done at the center of the manege or anywhere away from walls.
The older methodists, both of the Middle Ages and of modern times, prescribed the lateral effects of hand and legs in order to hold the horse's entire body, from front limbs to rear, flexed upon the circle on which it travels. It is necessary for this