What are some of your routines when you exercise your horses? Some days I just get on and ride and other days I put my horses in the round pen and lunge a bit. I noticed that if I work in the pen even a few minutes disengaging the hindquarters and then saddle up to ride I seem to have a more focused horse. I have also been working on bending the neck after I mount but before we take any steps. Then I go off on a trail ride or do some pen work.... Any body else want to share their rountines?
Sometimes I spin my horse around on the lunge-line for a few minutes before I get on. Not that he misbehaves or anything, it just gets him listening to me. Before I get on, I stretch him, first his fron legs, then his back ones. Then I stretch his nack. When I am riding, I make him go long and low at first and make his stretch. He usually likes to warm himself up at his own pace, so for a little bit I let him go around as he likes. When I feel that he is warmed up, I gather him up and work on bending, circles, figure 8's, serpentines, leg yields, shoulder in, shoulder out, collecting, extending, transitions, halting, trot and canter poles, rounding, all kinds of stuff. Only when he is fully limber and ready to go do I jump him. And I only jump him two to three times a week, normally two times a week, an normally not very high. When I jump, I do different kinds of exercises that help me find my distances, shorten my strdes down the line, lenghten my strides down the line, work on making it smooth looking. And of course when I am riding I always work on my equitation. I ride at least once a week without stirrups to work on my leg, lots of two-point, making sure my hands are correct, my shoulders are back, heels are down, etc.
I sometimes lunge before getting on because it gets them focused and helps you determine their mood beore you are on them.
I also lunge if a horse hasn't been ridden for a few days or more to get any silliness out.
I have also seen a horse that has to be lunged before they can be ridden otherwise they buck until they throw their rider. If the horse is lunged it behaves and doesn't try to throw the rider.
I tend to lunge first so I can see what kind of mood the horse is in. It's a good warm-up and gets both me and the horse in the right frame of mind to ride.
Usually I let the horse out in the round pin and run around a bit, get a couple bucks out and what not, then for my pony I usually lunge him or if he ran enough in the round pin just go and get on him. Also when I lunge i try and let the horse do more then just circles, I bring them in then let them back out, I even let the horse walk straight at times.
For my mustang after letting her out and play in the pen we go and work on some ground manners.
i put all mine in the pasture to run around like a herd.http://www.horseforum.com/userpix/735_L22350302_1.jpg
my routine is get out the horse and do groundwork and usually get on after awhile and ride for a bit. then maybe do some more groundwork. I'm a huge groundwork freak. 8)
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