Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good Days

The weather was something between lovely and awful today--nice temperature, but lots of clouds and wind. Yet again, I'm so thankful that Izzy doesn't really care. She's not dumb about wind and trees, and only occasionally about weather changes.

We started with lunging again, and she did well, so I got right on and rode.

This lasted about ten minutes.

She was fairly soft, she was listening, and she was reaching for contact. As I'd promised her before the ride, I immediately got off. All I wanted was a repeat of yesterday, and when I had that, she was done. We did use the spiral in/out a little, and she seemed to do well with it. I'll try it again tomorrow and do a longer ride.

Any other ideas for what to do to keep a horse engaged and interested? We're starting to do some lateral stuff, but she's pretty green, so we can't really do extreme movements.


  1. Ground poles can add to the "adventure." You can space them for cantering, put them on a circle, space them for lengthened or shortened trot, etc. Cones or some other kind of markers can be used for weaving or simply markers to change gait or halt. Tons of transitions, trying for accuracy are always good. Turn on the forehand? Turn on the haunches. Square corners using the outside rein...make a square instead of a circle. Pretend the arena is a huge sheet of paper and Izzy is a pen. Write her name...write your name.

    I do a circle in, circle out all the way around the arena as a suppling exercise. So it's basically making little figure 8's over and over all the way around the outside of the ring. Teach her to half pass up alongside a rail set on jump standards or on top of a barrel, then knock the rail off with your hand. Teach her to half pass up alongside the gate and see if you can open and close it from the saddle.

    Trotting over a mini cross rail with trotting poles up to it is a good first exercise to introduce the concept of jumping without stress on either of you.

    Here's a link to some riding patterns:

  2. I'm fond of random poles, scattered at all sorts of angles all over the ring - you make up the patterns as you ride with lots of turns, circles and other figures, and you can also throw in transitions and halts and backing - looking for quick responses and good attention.

  3. transitions are great, especially in the gates. instead of just spiraling you can engage and enlarge on a 20 meter cicle. push out (enlarge) and push in ( engage) at the quarters. simular to spiralling, but it helps keep the horse forcused and balanced since you are changing shape at each quarter. i like this excersize a lot.


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