What are your exercises on the flat?
When you ride any english discipline what things do you like to work on? This is specifically for the rider. But exercises for the horse are also welcome.
Most of us know the more common ones like posting, sitting, cantering, etc... without stirrups. Or doing figure 8's and serpentines. Transitions are always good. Just the other day I came up with the brilliant idea of backing up in a zig zag pattern using jump standards and poles as my guide. Although I'm sure I'm not the first to do that. I thought about trying to back a figure 8 using barrels as a guide. Haven't attempted that one yet, lol. Looks really hard.
What do you guys like to do?
hmm some of the more interesting exercises I've done:
- turning on the forehand and haunches all the way around the track of my arena
- sidepassing in a zig-zag from one end of the arena to the other
- playing games that require training lateral movements is neat too; you can set up an obstacle course that requires transitions, lateral movements etc..
-we do obstacle courses everyonce in a while to let the horses move and have fun
-ride 10ft off the rail and make sudden turns so your horse has to listen to you and not rely on the wall
-zig-zags with 2 people where you zig-zag in and out of eachother (its really fun once you get it down, but it requires a lot of communication between 2 people)
-trot poles at every bend (set up at a bend so the go narrow to wide)
:D :D :D
A lot of transition work, circles, serpentine and a lot of lateral work to get your horse to move off your leg. The lateral work I usually save for the end of my ride as I start to cool him down.
I have a love hate relationship with stirrupless riding. :lol: I also like doing lots of work at a 2 point. A great exercise someone showed me was to get up into a 2 point (holding mane) and squeeze your calf and thigh together as long as you can. It's an isometric exercise so your horse should not speed up. It will speed up if you ride with your toes too far out digging your heel into his side! If you don't feel a burn within 20 seconds you aren't doing it right. Everyone used to tell me I had a great leg but I can tell a noticable difference since I started doing this.
As far as horse exercises people have already mentioned a lot of them. I like to really make them move laterally too. Zig zag using leg yields. Go down the center line doing a haunches in, haunches out, haunches in, haunches out, etc. Also great with a shoulder in/out. One rein stops are exellent even from a stand still. It's a GREAT way to limber up a stiff horse and teach a horse to give to the bit.
1 - At the trot, post 7 strides, sit 7 strides, 2-point 7 strides, repeat! Do this while keeping your horse at the same tempo....OR doing working trot (post), collected trot (sit), and extended trot (2-point). When I change my horse's tempo, I usually do 11 strides instead of 7. Just do an odd number and you'll stay on the correct diagonal. Of course, try it without stirrups eek!
2 - Tie your reins in a loose knot and drop them. Ride with your arms behind your back, out to the sides (airplaine), or straight forward (superman). Try it with your eyes closed. Try the above exercise like this too! Great way to learn balance...and have your horse listen to leg aids.
3 - More for fun...grab something from a different discipline! I used to ride this Dressage mare and one day for fun we did a little "fake" Reining. I'd canter her forward as fast as I could, then at C, slam on the brakes. Jump right back into the canter, then at A, slam on the brakes again. After a few times, she got the idea and really started to tuck her butt for our fake sliding stops. It also made it very clear to my body that I needed to stay with my horse during a halt otherwise I'd flop forward.
We do lots of work with transitions and adusting our speeds. We work on lateral movement, extention, collection, ground poles, figure eights, circles, serpentines, small equ. paterns, and our flying lead changes.
For my equ, we are riding without stirrups all the time.
I ride QH english pleasure i work alot on critiqueing our speed perfecting transitions, working patterns, working off rail, working on stride and mind set. Working on head set, working responsiveness, working on quick situations or tough situations ( like if your no prepared to canter right then and their, or you get boxed in or cut off in the ring.) Consistancy is a big one i work on too.
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