How do you work out a horse during a training session?
I really curious to hear opinion what you do with the horse and for how long when having a "training session" (simply, the ride :-) ). Lessons are OK to discuss to. I mean what kind of exercises you do, when, for how long, etc.
I'm interested, because my lesson is VERY different from what I usually do when I ride myself. During a lesson, after some walk there is a short trot (like 5 mins only if so) and then canter, and then whatever else we work on (like lateral movement today). My horse is not used to it as my schedule is very different (I always canter in the end of the ride after lots of trot, poles/cavaletti work, transitions, etc.), and she's getting over-excited with canter coming too soon (yes, I know, not good). So I wonder how do you work with your horse?
Working with Jynx is a little different right now with the training. We're working on leg pressure/leg yield and now some turning on the forehand/hindquarter to get her listening to my leg well. So my training starts with warm up, a few walk loops before going to jog. We're also working on tempo right now, so after warm up, she's asked to slow her jog and keep it there. Then I'll go to the wall and work on some pressure exercises. If it's coming easy, I ask for more. If she's finding it difficult, I settle for 10% progress and go back to jogging and loping.
My big thing is to keep breaking it up. She's only 3 years old so her attention span is very short. She's happy as a clam to jog and lope in circles all day long, so that's her "reward" when she's made progress on whatever difficult thing I'm teaching her that she'll get fed up with quickly.
I would advise mixing up your cantering and trotting instead of saving it until the end. Warm her up, do some trot, ask for a tiny canter and go right back to trot so she can't anticipate it :-)
I just ride. I pay attention to things if they come up. I don't have an arena and any flat spots are a five minute ride away through gates, etc. My horses learn to leg yeild from doing gates. I generally get on and walk to the first or maybe the second gate, then go straight into trot or canter. I do a lot of just general fitness, long trotting and cantering on a loose rein. They learn to rate themselves. I use my leg to keep them straight and will pick random spots to leg yeild them over. I often stop in a flatt-ish area and do some circles, normally a figure eight at trot and canter with changes or stop & back up in between the circles.
Thanks, MM! I see what you are saying about mixing them.
My concern with the canter coming too fast (and that's the reason I don't do it myself) is that I was told number of times that it's not good for the horse's legs to canter until it's really warmed up on trot. Is that something to consider?
I've heard varying opinions about it, but I don't think I agree with it. How long do you spend before going into it for your lesson? I spend about 5 minutes walking, and 5 minutes easy jogging and then I go into my "routine" for the day. A 10 minute warmup should be more then sufficient, especially if you're intending to only canter her briefly before going back to trotting anyway.
wild_spot - OMG, I am SO excited! Ever since me and Zierra found this common ground, she's gone back to uber super trail horse mode. You totally reminded me - two days ago we went for a ride, on a completely loose rein at a good endurance trot through winding trails. She's so darn clever, she sees everything, drops her head and picks her way through the footing. Heh heh, you just reminded me of how awesome it is to reach that trained point where the horse almost knows how to work him/herself! :lol:
^ Yup, I love it, that's when I miss Wildey the most - Bundy is a horrible trail horse when by himself and Latte is still so green - I loved just dropping the reins and letting him go - He got so much joy out of it as well.
Kitten, I don't believe that, but that's just me. I don't jump on and straight away ask for collection or anything, but I do get on and head out in a trot or canter - Especially when I with dad on the bike to do stock work - I ahve to canter from the get go to keep up with the bike. The horses never pull up sore and haven't had a lame horse in years - I think any kind of long and low work on a loose rein is a good warm up.
My "workout" depends on which horse I'm working with. Generally, I like to do at least 5-10 minutes walking on a loose line. Bending and doing lots of circles to warm up their legs. Moving onto the trot, I like to keep them busy with small circles then big circles, then switching directions and repeat. Lots of bending and doing some lateral work to get them moving. I also like to work on our 'woah' , so my horses learn to go from a canter to a standstill by saying one word. (It really works too!!) Then into the canter, I do at least three or four laps each way with twenty meter circles and then I give them a few minutes of walking break to stretch out for a breather. Then onto lead changes. I don't work on them too too much because they are hard. (this is for my young horses in training just so you know) . After a good 15 minutes of lead changes, breaks, and trotting periods in between. Then I work on random transitions (ex; halt to canter, trot to halt, canter to halt, canter to walk..etc) and some pole work before a 15 minute walking coolout (while riding) and then I get off, untack, and handwalk for another 10-15 minutes.
Intense workouts LOL!!
But my horses learn quickly and are soo willing to please. I love 'em!!
Folks, I do 10 mins walk (5 mins loose rein, 5 mins on contact and leg yields), then 10 min trot usually (transitions, circles, serpentine). So do you suggest to do 5 min trot, 5 min canter/canter transitions?
My advice is to just spend 10 minutes on a loose rein cruising around at whatever gait before picking up the contact - but that's just me and I don't ride in an rean so probably not as practical there, lol.
Agreed with wild_spot. I like my horse warmed up at all gaits before really asking him to WORK. Even collection and being on the bit at the walk is actually going to be difficult if you haven't limbered them up a bit by just letting them warm all their muscles up, not just the walk ones. A warm horse (much like a human) is way better able to respond easily then a "cold" one.
It's sort of like stretching - for years we were told to stretch before you did ANYTHING else! Now they realize, duh, do 10 minutes of cardio before you stretch, the muscles need to be nice and warm and loose!
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