Originally Posted by Puddintat
I get bored riding in the ring. I do work on figure eights, circles, transitions from walk, jog, trot, etc.......I really enjoy trail riding and that's what I do a lot of but arena work is necessary, too. Any suggestions?
I hate roundy round arena riding and do as little of it as possible. BUT, since I also like to show it is necessary so I like to work in the arena for maybe 30 mins to 45 mins, and then take the horse on a trail ride where I work on the exact same things I worked on in the arena but do it on trail. It keeps the horses brain fresh too.
If I can get a group to go riding with, I like to do certain exercises like what I call Assembly Line. Ride at the front for a few minutes and if the horse gets too fast or too slow, peel off and ride drag for a bit either slowing him down or making him speed up to catch up. Then another rider peels off and comes to the back and your horse eventually comes to the front again. Teaches him to rate his speed properly and also teaches him to ride comfortabley anywhere in the group so he isn't obnoxious.
I do serpentines all over a wide trail at the walk, trot, canter, practicing up and downward transitions and practicing lead changes. We back uphill and down (small ones to start) and then we ride out ahead and then circle back to rejoin the group before anyone gets anxious (teaches him to be able to go out by himself). Things like that.
I was once told that anytime you are working with a horse you are training him to do something. So keeping that in mind, I try to be creative about how we do our training.