Looking for exercises to condition for Barrels and poles.
I'm looking for some exercises and patterns to get my mare ready for her first year in gaming.. any suggestions :) I don't have access to an arena but i have some flat pasture
Long trotting! Or an extended trot, as some people call it. Best exercise to work up those muscles. Big strides, decent speed. Do not over do the patterns, you want your horse reacting to your cues, not anticipating them.
SFS is right on the money. Balance is what your gamer needs most and nothing teaches balance like a nice long trot.
I always liked to do turn arounds. Lope a straight line 20 feet, do a turn on that line and continue the lope on the line. Teaches straightness and quickness of feet.
Over running the patterns will only make them nervous in the pen.
thanks guys :)
I like to set up random objects in the field. A barrel, a pole, a soccer ball, pick a bush out there, etc. Maybe a tree. I don't like my horses associating "Barrel" with "OMGOMGOMG WE'RE GONNA RUN AND TURN NOW"
Now while this may be odd, I only do it while I'm in the pasture. I lope up, turn whatever random object is there. If they are having trouble following through with the turn I keep turning for maybe a circle o two then lope off. That will teach that they need to turn when you tell them to, no matter what object is there.
However, I only do this in the pasture. When I'm in the arena I like to set up a square with two barrels and two poles.It doesn't matter where they are placed. I will lope around the rail, then dive in and turn, then lope off again. Maybe I'll weave around the square. Maybe I'll do a figure-right with two of the points.
Also a speed barrel pattern. Three barrels in a line. You weave, turn the last barrel, then weave back.
I don't normally put them on the pattern except for maybe right before we show I'll take them through once or twice just o refresh the memory.....And even then, I may run to the left barrel to the third barrel to the right barrel, or figure eight two barrels and then circle the last one, in whatever order I do so please.
I do like the extended trots too. i take my barrel horses out on the trail and the entire time I trot trot trot trot trot for the muscle. This is fun for me too, and good for desensitizing.
thanks, this information makes a lot of sence. Do you have any advice for diving in to early, because my shins last summer took a beating whenever i practiced. This trotting all the time is going to be a downer lol my horse is extremely rough, and advice for that? I used to squeeze with my knees but i read on a post that wasn't such a good idea, it does the oposite of what í want i guess lol... thanks again! :D
Long trotting is anAMAZING workout for any horse..and they don't really get that they are working..an idea for your turns and gettin her to respond to your legs so you don't smash your shins is, since you have flat pasture..after your long trot practice some turns, flex and release around manure piles or ant beds..again they are working on that skill but don't see a barrel or pole..they don't know you're working and wont get prop sour..or if you do want to practice turns around SOMETHING you can find anything lying around the place and get them to bend nicely around it..im sure ill think of something else in a little while..
Try posting when you trot..
Thanks, my intructor last summer said quater turns and half turns at a trot would be great to loosen up her shoulders, it gets boring after 10 min lol but it works
walk trot cant a box. Push his sholder around the turn and make it as sharp as you can. Getting him on his but and opiening his sholder. if you can find some poles even if they are small trees choped down. make you a trail course. side passing and truning a box is good for making them responsive to your leg but keeps you frome being bored. find you some horesmanship patrens on line. and try them out. anything that will get you and your horse working together and not bord is always good.
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