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Vanda 08-27-2011 09:15 PM

Needed - schooling exercises
 
Hi, I am somewhat challenged in what to do when schooling and would love to get some ideas for a 30-40 minute schooling sessions from go to whoa! I need something I can memorise and not have to think about what to do - and have something meaningful in my head rather than stop start type thing. I work alone and have no instructor within 20 miles. Thanks muchly in advance! Van

MyBoyPuck 08-27-2011 10:58 PM

I can't really help you with pre-selected training sessions for the mere fact that I never plan my rides, but I do work within the structure of the training scale. I work on whatever my horse tells me he needs to work on for that day. For example, if it's cold outside and he's an over-excited tense monster, that day we work on relaxation. Lots of lateral work, suppling and bending at the walk. On hot days when he's behind my leg, we work on getting him in front of my leg. If he's reluctant to stretch into the contact, then we do lots of transitions to get his butt into gear. For every training problem, there are many solutions, but there's no way of knowing which ones will work for you and your horse...unless of course you have some video or pics to show?

Maybe, instead of thinking of schooling sessions as set routines, think of them more as a checklist of the training scale. When you first start warming up, think, "do I have good rhythm?" If so, move onto relaxation and so on. If you find your horse is lacking in one particular area, then most people on here can give you suggestions on how to address it. The only other thing I can think of to suggest is the book 101 dressage exercises. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Vanda 08-27-2011 11:27 PM

Thanks
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck (Post 1152567)
I can't really help you with pre-selected training sessions for the mere fact that I never plan my rides, but I do work within the structure of the training scale. I work on whatever my horse tells me he needs to work on for that day. For example, if it's cold outside and he's an over-excited tense monster, that day we work on relaxation. Lots of lateral work, suppling and bending at the walk. On hot days when he's behind my leg, we work on getting him in front of my leg. If he's reluctant to stretch into the contact, then we do lots of transitions to get his butt into gear. For every training problem, there are many solutions, but there's no way of knowing which ones will work for you and your horse...unless of course you have some video or pics to show?

Maybe, instead of thinking of schooling sessions as set routines, think of them more as a checklist of the training scale. When you first start warming up, think, "do I have good rhythm?" If so, move onto relaxation and so on. If you find your horse is lacking in one particular area, then most people on here can give you suggestions on how to address it. The only other thing I can think of to suggest is the book 101 dressage exercises. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


Thanks for that. Good thinking! the mare is really behind the leg - knows I'm nervous and unsure. Guess I will have to toughen myself up a bit. I was just hoping to get a sort of starter programme which I can add to. You sound as though you are an accomplished rider!

MyBoyPuck 08-28-2011 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vanda (Post 1152592)
You sound as though you are an accomplished rider!

Not remotely! If my body could do what my brain knows it needs to, I would be far further along than I am. For now, I'm just your average rider who happens to be fascinated in the way a horse moves. I am an info junkie and visual learner who can turn it into results in the saddle. I'm the equivalent of a guy who likes to take things apart just so he can see how it works and rebuild it.

You say your horse is behind the leg. Was she previously ridden in a nagging way and tuning everything out, or one of those horses with a "make me" attitude?

Vanda 08-28-2011 09:29 PM

Horses
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck (Post 1153469)
Not remotely! If my body could do what my brain knows it needs to, I would be far further along than I am. For now, I'm just your average rider who happens to be fascinated in the way a horse moves. I am an info junkie and visual learner who can turn it into results in the saddle. I'm the equivalent of a guy who likes to take things apart just so he can see how it works and rebuild it.

You say your horse is behind the leg. Was she previously ridden in a nagging way and tuning everything out, or one of those horses with a "make me" attitude?

Actually she was my instructor's school horse, is 20 but looks and acts 14. She goes really well for a "real rider"! but with me she has a bit of the do I really have to. She has a good temperament but is trying me out a bit I think. When I rode her at my instructors I had better luck because she had bonded with the instructor - hasn't bonded with me yet though - and I was much more confident at my instructor's where the horse was comfortable than I am at my place, where everything is new for her - though she is really excellent, taking everything in her stride.

Am doing some Steve Brady groundwork with her (I live in Australia).

I'm not a particularly good horse person, nothing comes naturally to me but have been around them for 20 years or so and find a horse that won't go forward a problem because I can't ride well enough - find myself pushing too hard, which throws position out and round and round we go!

Like you, I read everything I can and my head knows so very much - translating it to the saddle is the problem!

Thanks for talking to me. What type of horse do you ride?

MyBoyPuck 08-28-2011 09:36 PM

I ride a TB who used to race, so behind the leg is seldom a problem for me. I have always loved Thoroughbreds, so most of what I've learned over the years about riding on contact was done out of self preservation. TB's are way too smart to just sit up there and not really ride.

I think I have an exercise for you that might put the ball a little more in your court with your mare. Every 8 strides, do something different. Change gait, speed or tempo within the gait, direction, bend, whatever, every 8 strides without fail. Initially she'll be sluggish and possibly a little stubborn, so make the first few things easy. If she's a testing type, eventually this "game" will peak her interest and she'll start looking to you for what comes next. If you see her put one ear on you, you're in business. Ride each move with a plan and be very clear about what you want each change. It's a hard exercise, but very rewarding once the horse is no board. Good luck!

Vanda 08-28-2011 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck (Post 1153494)
I ride a TB who used to race, so behind the leg is seldom a problem for me. I have always loved Thoroughbreds, so most of what I've learned over the years about riding on contact was done out of self preservation. TB's are way too smart to just sit up there and not really ride.

I think I have an exercise for you that might put the ball a little more in your court with your mare. Every 8 strides, do something different. Change gait, speed or tempo within the gait, direction, bend, whatever, every 8 strides without fail. Initially she'll be sluggish and possibly a little stubborn, so make the first few things easy. If she's a testing type, eventually this "game" will peak her interest and she'll start looking to you for what comes next. If you see her put one ear on you, you're in business. Ride each move with a plan and be very clear about what you want each change. It's a hard exercise, but very rewarding once the horse is no board. Good luck!

That's great! thanks so much. Going out to give it a go shortly.

My horse is a QH and is very well schooled, knows all the movements and is quite sensible. I wouldn't touch a TB or Arabian with a barge pole! Way too smart for me. I don't like worrying about preserving myself!

Vanda 08-28-2011 11:59 PM

horses
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vanda (Post 1153507)
That's great! thanks so much. Going out to give it a go shortly.

My horse is a QH and is very well schooled, knows all the movements and is quite sensible. I wouldn't touch a TB or Arabian with a barge pole! Way too smart for me. I don't like worrying about preserving myself!

No offence to TBs or Arabians - I'm just not rider enough for them.

Hey, tried your suggestion out. Didn't work too well because she was very sluggish but will keep at it as I think it will work very well. Thanks again.

MyBoyPuck 08-29-2011 12:07 AM

Too bad about the exercise. If she's that sluggish, maybe switch gears to a more assertive approach. Get a nice energetic walk going making sure to not nag with your legs in any way. Then ask politely for a trot. If no response, ask more loudly. If still no response, pop her once behind your leg with your crop and insist on the correct response. Once she does trot, bring her back to walk after a few strides on your terms and then ask for trot again, always politely first and then escalate as needed. Mares can be stubborn, much more than geldings. You're going to have to follow through on your goals. Good luck.

Vanda 08-29-2011 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck (Post 1153628)
Too bad about the exercise. If she's that sluggish, maybe switch gears to a more assertive approach. Get a nice energetic walk going making sure to not nag with your legs in any way. Then ask politely for a trot. If no response, ask more loudly. If still no response, pop her once behind your leg with your crop and insist on the correct response. Once she does trot, bring her back to walk after a few strides on your terms and then ask for trot again, always politely first and then escalate as needed. Mares can be stubborn, much more than geldings. You're going to have to follow through on your goals. Good luck.

Thanks - the exercise will work as soon as she starts to move off the leg. I popped her one when she wouldn't move off in the walk! brought her back and asked kindly again - and she moved off without problem. Will go to trot next. Thanks for the good suggestions. V


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