Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South-Western Lakeshore, Michigan
• Horses: 0
While I think all horses (even high level competitors) can benefit from trail rides, I think the same can be true for a bit more challenging arena work. If the arena is not suitable, you can move these exercises into the paddock or pasture, provided the footing is safe.
Many horses thrive on the challenge of learning side pass, turns on the forehand or haunches, leg yields, shoulder/haunches in, etc.....
If you have poles available, try setting up some trot poles. You can set them at slightly uneven distances so your horse really has to focus on her foot placement. If she jumps, try grids with varied distances (i.e. bounce to a 1 stride to a bounce, etc.) You can also vary canter poles and work on your horses adjustability at the canter.
One of my favorite exercises is to set up a line with 5 strides in between: see how many strides you can fit in there.... the record at our barn is 11; that is a seriously collected canter!! :)
~ Fine riding is a Journey, not a Destination ~