Decided to lease, help with practicing alone. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Decided to lease, help with practicing alone.

I began taking jumping lessons 8 months ago and have decided to half-lease one of the barn horses. My question is, I don't really know what I can do on my non-lesson days. I will not be able to jump (insurance purposes) unless directed by my trainer during lessons. I am not new to horses but I am new to practicing by myself. When I rode when I was younger, I had a friend teaching me and now that I'm older, I have only ridden at my lessons. I've never leased or had a horse of my own before.

Can anyone maybe give me some direction as far as to what kind of flatwork I can do in the arena to improve my seat and balance so as to improve my jumping skills? I feel like I'm going to spend all this extra money just to trot and canter around the arena 3 times extra a week, lol.

Any help would be so greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 05:17 PM
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Sitting trot, posting trot, 2 point at all gaits, stirrupless riding, lots and lots of transitions from backup to halt to canter (?gallop maybe)

stand in the stirrups , not 2 point, stand (you can lean slightly forward for balance with thighs touching the pommel if need be) when you can do it at walk, advance to trot, then to canter. While standing moving forward at any gait, lift your arms one at a time and hold it straight out in front of you, then straight up toward the sky, then back behind you. repeat with the other arm.
Or, while standing , hold both arms out straight out to the sides for several strides

Create some patterns in the arena to keep things interesting for both of you. PM me if you need ideas!


Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 08:26 PM
Green Broke
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Work on hands and seat, work on getting a more responsive horse, might get someone to video you so you can see areas needing work, as well as improvements made.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 10:20 PM
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can you go out? I mean, trail ride out? learn how to properly lunge a horse. spend some time working over cavaletti. work with your horse on the ground to send her over obstacles. take her out and jsut hand graze her to her hrearts content.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 10:27 PM
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Try some dressage! You would be amazed how many ways there are to walk trot and canter.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 10:54 PM
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Ask your trainer what she thinks you should practice at the end of each lesson; that will give you something to work on.

In addition to that, there are lots of good books out there with specific exercises you can try. 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider (by Jec Ballou), Equine Fitness (also by Jec Ballou), and the ground pole exercises out of 101 Jumping Exercises for Horse and Rider (by Linda Allen) would keep you busy for a while

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post #7 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by verona1016 View Post
Ask your trainer what she thinks you should practice at the end of each lesson; that will give you something to work on.

Thanks what I was going to say too (just noticed the horse emoticons so had to add one!)
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 11:31 PM
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Since you have a trainer, just ask for homework. Your trainer will be the best one to help you with the things you need to work on most.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 11:40 PM
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Yeah, homework is key!

Other than that some good exercises can be found on YouTube. One that I like to do is to set up cavaletti (ground poles and cones work fine too!) and do a four leaf clover pattern over them. If you are really working on your getting nice circles and a good, balanced trot this will take up plenty of time. (In fact thanks for posting this thread this is what I'm going to do tomorrow)
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-11-2015, 11:43 PM
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Agreed with asking your trainer for homework. In the interim - serpentines! When you have access to the full arena for practice, mark it (if you need to) to make sure you are doing them *perfectly*, (see any intro dressage diagram, there's oodles) and NAIL them at walk, and then trot. Get someone to watch if you can, or set up a camera to see how you do. If that's not possible, just stick to the rule that YOU judge where his feet should go, to the best of your ability, and come hell or high water, they go there.

Learn to feel when you're not straight (if you don't already know this - you probably do but may be out of practice) and fix it. Practice bending correctly. Our friend the 20 meter circle is YOUR friend too.

All of the above involve tons of micro-corrections with split second timing, and that is hugely beneficial to jumping well. If you can't think of anything else, do these!
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