Questions about Cross Training

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Questions about Cross Training

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    05-14-2013, 05:46 PM
Questions about Cross Training

Hey guys! This year I'm working on trying to show my horse in English and Western Pleasure. I ultimately want to do dressage with her but I'm also taking vaulting lessons (not on my horse) to work on making my seat more secure and conquer some fear issues I have. I'm honestly wondering what you all think about Cross Training horses in different disciplines? I've heard its supposed to keep your horse interested in work (which would be good for my horse because she starts predicting what we're going to do during the ride) but are there some disciplines that I should specifically avoid with her? Should I limit it to only two different disciplines? What has worked for you guys?
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    05-14-2013, 10:29 PM
I think cross training is a great way to help the horse and its rider become more well-rounded in different disciplines. Most horses are easily able to make the switch once they grasp the concept of it. Of course, they may not do one thing as well as another. My horse has a huge springy trot on her, which she can easily collect, but she will never be a show-worthy WP horse. The only disciplines that you should strictly avoid are the ones that your horse does not enjoy. They are versatile animals and can do pretty much any discipline to a certain extent. You do not have to restrict yourself to only one discipline - a girl I know has a 13 year old Arabian who literally does it all - sport horse, hunter, equitation, showmanship, western pleasure, green as grass reining, trail, horsemanship, you name it. At the ages of 15 and 9, they won the AHA Legion of Honour and Rider of Champions awards. What has worked the best for me is to see what my horse is best suited to and enjoys, and stick with that.
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    05-15-2013, 10:41 AM
Dont avoid any disiplines that you want to do. There are a lot of great horses out there that excell in all disiplines! You horse will get to know what disipline is what by feeling the way you ride! So just keep practicing and make your cues VERY obvious to your horse :)
    05-16-2013, 08:09 PM
I think the only caveat would be to not do anything that directly contradicts another discipline. For example, if you school dressage one day getting the horse on the bit and working in contact and then turn around the next day and plod along in the same ring on a loose rein, I could see where that might confuse a horse. Other than that, I think mixing things up is always a good idea. It keeps the horse's fresh.

disciplines, general, training

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