Bored Horse and Rider: Possible Games/Exercises?
Y'all are probably getting tired of hearing about my little OTTB mare, haha! But I need help with her...
She and I are both getting bored with the same 'ole, same 'ole. Everytime I ride her it's fighting on the flat, going over a few fences, and then walking out along the road. Same thing every time I ride her. Nothing's getting better in terms of her training and she even seems to be going backwards.
We are both tired of doing nothing. I can tell she's getting bored because she acts up (bolts, bucks, spins, etc) which she's never done before. Nothing's changed either, except I'm riding/working her a bit less (4x a week instead of 6x). We need some constructive spice in our routine. I can't vary our environment much as we've been on every "trail" there is to go on around the place and she's been everywhere I can safely get her. I don't have a trailer and I'm on a very tight budget which has made training her hard.
Basically I'm asking for fun and constructive exercises to switch things up for us. She's very stiff and trying to bend her is like trying to bend a 2x4, haha! So exercises to encourage her to stretch and bend would be great!
So I'm looking for:
I feel like I'm asking a lot of y'all, but I know y'all never mind helping (((:
Thank you so much!
Serpentines (at the trot and canter), figure 8's (again at the trot and canter), leg yielding, spiraling circles (either starting small and working out or starting big and working in), and of course working on collection and extension (I like to ask them to extend down the long side and then collect down the short side)
I do all of this with my TB to keep him interested. Also, if you have fields with hills trotting those is get for their hind quarters and it's really fun.
Play 8 strides. Every 8 strides, do something different. Change gait, speed, move sideways, anything different every 8 strides. It really makes you stay a step ahead of your horse and greatly helps fine tune your cues or you simply cannot make the changes quickly enough.
I recommend trying other sports, even if not competitive. You can set up trail courses in your backyard with logs, "spooky" items, and little tasks you have to do like putting something in a bucket, picking and dropping tings, roping a post, stuff like that. If you got water near by you can walk through it. I know that isnt that helpful but thats what i did with my horse last summer when i was bored.
COnsider soing some games off your horse. There are a huge amount of exercises you can do on your ground that will enhance your training when you get back on.
Why not try training some practical things like opening a gate. Break down everything you would require to open a gate- a leg yield, leaning off the horse, standing still while you unlatch the gate.....
Some stretching exercises for on the ground:
Take your lead rope and pull it towards her withers, which should bend her neck. Lots of horses object to this at first (they back up) but mine got it fairly quickly. Just stay with them and keep the pressure.
Pieces of carrot also works for the food hogs. (lol)
Be sure to release as soon as they bend.
Awesome advise that I will use with my horse. Thanks for the idea.
OP: You have said yourself that you are doing the same ol' same ol'. Isnt that boring for you as well? You cant just stay on the track and go in circles...you have to mix it up!
Set up some jump standards (off set...one near the track one 15 feet away 10 feet off the track...next one back near the track another 15 feet beyond that) and bend around them. Make sure your horse is straight in the middle before asking for the bend the other way. Put ground poles in a circle and trot over them keeping in the middle. Be random. Circle. Halt. Leg yeild. Turn on the forehand. Turn on the haunches. Walk. Canter. Trot. Walk. Canter. Counter canter.
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