03-06-2007, 01:23 PM
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Sometimes I spin my horse around on the lunge-line for a few minutes before I get on. Not that he misbehaves or anything, it just gets him listening to me. Before I get on, I stretch him, first his fron legs, then his back ones. Then I stretch his nack. When I am riding, I make him go long and low at first and make his stretch. He usually likes to warm himself up at his own pace, so for a little bit I let him go around as he likes. When I feel that he is warmed up, I gather him up and work on bending, circles, figure 8's, serpentines, leg yields, shoulder in, shoulder out, collecting, extending, transitions, halting, trot and canter poles, rounding, all kinds of stuff. Only when he is fully limber and ready to go do I jump him. And I only jump him two to three times a week, normally two times a week, an normally not very high. When I jump, I do different kinds of exercises that help me find my distances, shorten my strdes down the line, lenghten my strides down the line, work on making it smooth looking. And of course when I am riding I always work on my equitation. I ride at least once a week without stirrups to work on my leg, lots of two-point, making sure my hands are correct, my shoulders are back, heels are down, etc.