Hello! I was wondering if anyone had any "novice" dressage exercises that I could do with my flexible, knowledgeable Paint mare. She can do a lot that I don't know how to do, and I am looking into getting a dressage trainer. Until then, what could I do to keep her from getting bored and stay flexible? I work with her on circles and collection, and a little bit of side passing (could I have some tips- I am not very good!) Thanks,
I have this book 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider: Jec... and it has a TON of dressage exercises and they are rated for difficulty so you can easily work your way up.
One chooses exercises to develop a horse methodically, not just because they are on a list in a book.
Training level horses should show bit acceptance (light flexion) and do large bended lines (20 m circles) in all the gaits and sustained halts, there could be broken lines, and well formed horses. Spirals (from one end to the other) could be added, and light leg yields. Head to the wall leg yield is a good exercises to get the horse to move off the leg.
First level horses should be 'on the bit', lightly flexed, capable of increased bending (15-10m circles over time), start to lengthen the stride, show square halts (in front at least). LY, broken lines, better formed corners, and some lengthening of strids. Turns on the forehand are also usedful.
Second level is where lateral work (shoulder in/renvers/travers) is added (which is the key to develop collection), there is collected work, and mediums are added. Turns on the haunches are added.
Horses do NOT get bored on circles, and neither should the rider because there should be attention to energy, reaction to half halts, keeping light lateral flexion, keeping reaciton and focus. (And imho if this is a novice horse there should be NO collection asked for as yet.)
I agree with both rachel and equitate.
The book is a good staring point to give you some ideas of things to focus on. It is easily marked so you can focus of the basics (looseness and your position) until you get your trainer.
There are heaps of things for you to work on. Do you go and ride with an idea of what you would like to work on? Ie Straightness, accuracy of circles, your position... or do you just ride around aimlessly?
When I school, I think back to my most recent lesson and what I was struggling with... It could be related to my position or it could be my horse popping his shoulder out or cutting corners... And we work on that. Then we have anothere lesson, and find something else. I use the book as a way to add extra tools into my arsenal.
The book basically is a bunch of exercises... walk to trot transitions, straightness exercises, change of pace (working to slightly extended), trot to canter transitions, ground poles, turns on the forehand, flex and counter flex, leg yield... most exercises contain circles. Oh and BTW, it is also an Iphone app now :)
Most Recent Issues
Well, my most recent problem had been lack of listening and her thinking that she is a bucking bronco after jumps, or even trying to canter a clear diagonal (not even a pole on the ground!) Thanks for the help, guys!
I am not sure I understand what is going on (be more specific). But, If the horse is yahooing after a fence, the quesiton is why? Too low/too long on landing (keep inside rein lifted/ride a curve--perhaps before or after or halt/reinback/half circle back to jump. Cantering when riding a diagonal? Question the tempo or the horse is too low/closed.
It was raining and she could not go out. I also couldn't lunge her due to the many people in the arena at the same time. Sorry about the specifics!
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