What are some things to practice on your own? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-28-2013, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Windsor Ontario Canada
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What are some things to practice on your own?

As i have mentioned before in some threads, i am leasing a horse. Its been about 3 months since ive started riding. Im doing lessons every other week. the horse im leasing is at the same place im taking lessons. What are something i can practice on my own instead of just riding around. Any drills or balancing drills i can do or games i can try and play with my self?

Keenan Freker
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-28-2013, 08:10 AM
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When I first started riding, I leased a horse as well. I asked my instructor for 'homework' so I would be able to practice things between lessons. A lot of what she suggested I do tied into what we were working on during lessons themselves, but she also gave me things to do that she thought would benefit us both (horse and/or I) long term; Making her stand still in the cross ties, reading some books by John Lyons, etc.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-28-2013, 08:11 AM
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You should talk to your instructor because she is going to best know where you're at. Talk to her about your riding goals and ask for homework in between lessons. It will help you progress to be actively working on things :)

Since we can't see you ride anything we suggest would just be generic and could be things you've already got down.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-02-2013, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Talk to your instructor for ideas and goals. I find books very useful when trying to think of ideas. If you can, ride with a friend, or someone on the ground who can set up activities for you. :)
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-02-2013, 09:49 AM
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use your imagination, and the drills you have already learned. Practice those things, but compete with your self. Have you learned to sit a trot or post? Than see how many fence posts you can go in good form....make it all the way around the arena, and you owe yourself a treat. Learned leg cues? Serpentine the length of the arena using leg cues..again, make it the whole way and reward yourself.
make it fun, and a challenging game
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-05-2013, 09:46 AM
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It is easiest to ask your instructor as they know what level you are at, and what you are working on. But if you have been working on trotting, you can always practice the sitting trot without stirrups, and once you are comfortable here, and if you are working on posting, you can practice posting without stirrups. My trainer made me do this when I first started riding, and it has helped me immensely. My leg strength is better, and my balance has improved greatly as well.
If you have poles or cones you can also set yourself up a fun obstacle course that has you working on turning with leg, and maybe add some halts and starts throughout. This will help you and your horse! Really if you use your imagination you can come up with some great fun things to do with your horse, while helping your riding at the same time.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-07-2013, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Houston area, Texas
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Check out Whiny Widgets - they are small, laminated (weatherproof) books that fit in your pocket so you can take them on your ride, and contain diagramed exercises. Whatever discipline you ride, the one for dressage is useful because it contains patterns that can be both challenging and practical.

Good luck, and enjoy! When you start riding without an instructor, the real adventure begins, and it does wonders for your confidence :)

Jan Shultis
Know yourself. Know your horse. Ride with joy.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-07-2013, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Do you not trail ride? Trail rides are a mental refresher for horses as it gets them out of the arena. Find a partner to ride with or the horse may not want to leave home.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-07-2013, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Montana
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When I was younger, I was getting lessons from our amazing horseman friend. I was aobut seven or so.

She was helping me to learn my balance, and so told my to sit tall in the saddle and close my eyes. We did that at a stop and at a walk.
Then she told me to hold my arms out like an airplane, at a stand and walk.
The reason I remember this lesson, is because not two seconds after I did the airplane one, my little pony saw my shadow and thought something, because he took off and I fell right on my bum! But I think he had a bad past.

Also try riding without your stirrups. If you want you can also go bareback - this is the true test of balance. Bareback you rely on balance to keep you on and it is also a very good tool. I have been doing bareback more often and now my horse and I are jumping bareback. SO far so good!

🔫 Don't Tread On Me 🐍
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-09-2013, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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drills to improve the horse (depending on the age and training of the horse, this is generally for more green ones)- halt walk repeated helps build muscles in their belly (good for dressage!), trot to canter also builds belly muscles (look for precise uphill transitions), and lots of loops and circles to encourage suppleness
drills to improve the rider (also depends on your experience level but you've only been riding 3 months so this is pretty valid)- no stirrups (I know we all dread it but without it I wouldn't be where I am today and after a while you might even like it better), let your horse stretch down and have the reins and steer her with your weight and legs (this is good for your balance and helps your awareness of your aids aaaand its good for younger horses)
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