How small is To small? PLEASE HELP! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-16-2014, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation How small is To small? PLEASE HELP!

I have a 6yr old gelding that is ready for Advanced/beginners training, he knows walking and trotting and some jumping, he has cantered. But we have two problems.
1- He stops at the curves of our "arena" (a flat piece of land). I think the piece is a 50ftx60ft, and I think its too small for his training. He stops at the curves if we are cantering.
2- we don't have an arena, and since the 50x60 is too small for training, I was going to fence in a piece of land for a temporary arena, and use that.

But, how small can I go for training cantering leads and circles most of all?

I am going to get a vet to check him out to make sure he's sound. If he is, then the reason I think he's stopping is because he doesn't have enough time to collect and prepare himself for the turns.

Again, how small can I comfortably get for training?

Thanks ALOT!

Please HELP!
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-16-2014, 06:48 PM
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Why not just work him in the open, as long as he has good brakes I would just work in an open field. If your not running into fences you have all the room you need to do whatever you want. Just my opinion.

Personally once I have a good set of brakes on my horses I set off on the trail and train on the trail.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-16-2014, 07:04 PM
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I like working in a 66' x 198' (20m x 60m) which is standard dressage arena size.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-16-2014, 08:11 PM
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If I were planning out a riding space the smallest that I would go would be the size of a small dressage arena (20x40 meters- about 66x130 ft). Bigger is usually better, but it gives you a reasonable amount of space with which to work. With the size of your current space you aren't even able to work on a 20m circle, so that would definitely not be working in your favor.

If he's not an untrustworthy horse, then I'd also consider working him in the open. I do understand that the lack of fencing can be distracting to both horse and rider, but I'd encourage you to give it a shot. Take him out and walk around the large open space if you haven't already introduced him to riding out there, and take it from there. Some may get a little full of themselves, but sometimes the freedom and extra room is just what both horse and rider need to get that extra bit of energy to keep going
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 07:18 AM
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I don't think that is too small. I have an absolutely tiny arena... Its probably a 30-35 metre circle. My horse is a 5 year old, unbalanced 16.2 TB monster with an enormous stride. If he can canter quite quickly around that, I think your fellow could too ;) I would get the vet out, and if all if well, I would actually make him go around the corners. Don't under estimate him... He can turn a hell of a lot tighter than you think, at twice the speed!
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleighlg View Post
I have a 6yr old gelding that is ready for Advanced/beginners training, he knows walking and trotting and some jumping, he has cantered.
I am going to jump right in here. A horse that is walking and trotting and "has cantered" should NOT be jumping. Too green! Jumping, no matter how small the jump, is for a more advanced horse. Trotting over poles on the ground and teaching the horse rhythm, straightness, impulsion, balanced turns, transitions between gaits and in a gait all comes before jumping. The horse should canter easily and at least be able to do simple lead changes (two or three trot strides before picking up the other lead).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleighlg View Post
But we have two problems.
1- He stops at the curves of our "arena" (a flat piece of land). I think the piece is a 50ftx60ft, and I think its too small for his training. He stops at the curves if we are cantering.
This horse is too green to be cantering into a curve in an arena that small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleighlg View Post
2- we don't have an arena, and since the 50x60 is too small for training, I was going to fence in a piece of land for a temporary arena, and use that.
You do not need an arena. You need flat ground that has nice even footing. Get orange cones to mark the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleighlg View Post
But, how small can I go for training cantering leads and circles most of all?
Anything about the same size as a dressage arena. But at this point in your horse's training you need to get him long, low and down.. stretching his top line.. seeking bit contact. You need him trotting well and keeping an even stride even on a turn. You need to be working circles, serpentines, figure 8 that are two circles that touch each other NOT two half rounds with an "x" in the middle. You need to be able to have this horse go from a walk to a trot with a touch.. not a single rushing walk step. You need him to go from a trot to a walk balanced.. not losing himself all over the front. You need him to extend in the walk and the trot. When you get that, you try cantering a straight line only (not curves). Eventually you add a large curve.

I repeat.. you do NOT need to build an arena. A surface is more important than a fence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleighlg View Post
I am going to get a vet to check him out to make sure he's sound. If he is, then the reason I think he's stopping is because he doesn't have enough time to collect and prepare himself for the turns.

Again, how small can I comfortably get for training?

Thanks ALOT!

Please HELP!
Again, any flat area will do. Footing over fencing.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandyCanes View Post
I don't think that is too small. I have an absolutely tiny arena... Its probably a 30-35 metre circle. My horse is a 5 year old, unbalanced 16.2 TB monster with an enormous stride. If he can canter quite quickly around that, I think your fellow could too ;) I would get the vet out, and if all if well, I would actually make him go around the corners. Don't under estimate him... He can turn a hell of a lot tighter than you think, at twice the speed!
There's a huge difference between something that isn't even 20m on either side and your arena! You have the opportunity to make a full 20m circle... This horse is quite a few feet too small in either direction.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
There's a huge difference between something that isn't even 20m on either side and your arena! You have the opportunity to make a full 20m circle... This horse is quite a few feet too small in either direction.
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Scratches head, the HORSE is a few feet too small?
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
Scratches head, the HORSE is a few feet too small?
Sorry, typo when I woke up this morning! Y'all should be able to figure out what I mean :P

Now that I'm actually at my computer with a converter... CandyCanes, your 30x35m arena would actually be close to double the size of hers on either side. What she's currently using would be about 18x15m... way too small for anything I'd want to be doing with a green horse!
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-17-2014, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckDodgers View Post
Sorry, typo when I woke up this morning! Y'all should be able to figure out what I mean :P

Now that I'm actually at my computer with a converter... CandyCanes, your 30x35m arena would actually be close to double the size of hers on either side. What she's currently using would be about 18x15m... way too small for anything I'd want to be doing with a green horse!
Ooohhhh... I see. I was confuzzled. I don't do feet. That makes much more sense. That arena probably is too small then yes.
My bad. Sorry :P
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