Advice for limited space training - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-17-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for limited space training

Hi! Recently I’ve moved my 14hh gelding from a boarding facility to my small acreage. We have limited space, and an arena definitely is not an option. We may have enough room to squeeze in a 30-40ft round pen at some point down the road, but will need to flatten the area with some equipment first. He’s mostly going to be my trail riding buddy now, but i would still like to be able to do some ground work training and a little bit of walk/trot saddle work with him at home. Our field is long and narrow, gently sloping, with a flattish area at the top.

Wondering if anyone has any good recommendations for some ground work/ training routines that work well with limited space? Thanks in advance !
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-17-2019, 11:47 PM
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You don't need an arena or a round pen. Use the space you have.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-18-2019, 01:27 AM
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I totally agree with the above.

Nothing you can do in an arena that you cannot do out on the tracks and trails.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-18-2019, 09:56 AM
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You can lunge in the pasture. Line drive. Teach tricks.

It's only been a year that I've had access to an arena. I had to ask others for ideas of things to do in one besides go in circles.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-18-2019, 10:23 AM
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I don't know how limited your space is, but I'd keep an eye on wherever you ride to make sure your pasture condition isn't deteriorating.

You can put up cones (like those orange safety cones) and use them as markers for circles, serpentines, figure eights, leg yields. I guess you could probably do the same with tiny flags or metal t-posts (maybe somewhat less safe, though). Oh, and use them for markers for gait transitions (e.g. we're going to trot at that cone, canter there, etc.). You don't have to have a circular arena to do any of that -- if you land is really long and narrow, it may just mean that your circles are smaller, or figure eights are squished, or whatever.

You could use the cones to demarcate where you might put a round pen in the future and ride there. My last barn had an "outdoor" arena that was a dirt arena with no fence around it. The lack of fence was really challenging, in a good way. You had to really work to keep your horse in there without that barrier. It was hard, but it led to me having a lot more control over my horses. You never really realize how much you lean on having that arena fence until you do it this way!
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-18-2019, 02:29 PM
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Horses lean on a fence, too! They line their ey, shoulder and hip up on the rail, and that makes them crooked! A straight horse’s head and shoulders are in the middle of its hips.

I don't break horses, I FIX them!
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-20-2019, 08:29 PM
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Following! I'm in the same boat - half the property is hay pasture that is irrigated and unsuitable for riding until after haying season is done, and the rest of the property is rocks, sagebrush, badger holes and trees. We've gotten pretty good at serpentining around obstacles, lol. The dream is to make a flat space where I can work without fearing for my life...
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-21-2019, 03:13 PM
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I don't have an arena at my current private barn, just a roundpen & trails.

I ride/do groundwork in the pasture. For groundwork/lunging you can try to use the flattest area you can find. You can put some cones up too.

Ride more, worry less.
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