Beginner exercises at the walk
Can anyone help me come up with some "fun" beginner exercises at the walk?
My friend took lessons as a kid, then more recently had several months of lessons, and now has her own horse. Unfortunately, her horse was lame for a bit and is in rehab. Right now she can do some walking around the arena, and that's about it (she can't even go on the trails, because the vet said not to do hills).
She doesn't want to take lessons again until her horse is better.
I know in my Dressage lessons we spent a TON of time at the walk, and I've passed on some of the activities I worked on. But as a beginner who isn't looking to show or anything, I think she might be getting a little bored and discouraged.
What kinds of things can I show her to keep her engaged and enjoying her horse?
I like to play steer with my seat. On a completely loose rein, make your intended direction of travel very clear and try to get your horse to go there using only your seat. Circles, serpentines, changes of direction, even walking fatster/slower/stopping. Initially you do have to pick up the reins once in awhile when the horse just isn't listening to legs and seat, but after awhile it's kinda fun. It certainly helps establish the basics of riding correctly from the seat.
Set up some obstacles for her mare to walk over (like crossed ground poles), nothing that the horse would want to jump over, but enough so that it has to pay attention to where its feet are. I also like the suggestions that MyBoyPuck had. I used to do those "drop the reins" exercises with my gelding when he was still with me and it really helped with our communication (and my leg/seat)
Thanks! I'll pass these ideas on. Hopefully they will keep both horse and rider making progress and interested!
Of course, now we have a week of rain, mud, yucky stuff :(
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