Moving away from lessons - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Moving away from lessons

I've been riding on and off for the past 4 years, as well as in my teens, but have decided to get properly into it this year. I've started lessons again and have been loaned a horse to ride out myself. I'm a fairly confident ride, unfortunately I haven't spent much time out of the arena since I was young so I'm just looking for any tips people may have for trekking.

I will continue the lessons and practice what I learned in the lessons, which is all very technical, but any tips for exercises I could do with my horse in the field to become an overall better rider would be greatly appreciated
Blissy is offline  
post #2 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
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Can you take a lesson out on the trails? I know people who do, or go out with someone else who knows the area and is an experienced rider to show you the trails, where you have to watch out for walkers, traffic etc etc
DuffyDuck is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
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Ride without stirrups. Begin with no stirrups at the WALK for one full hour for one week.
Then, every time you ride warm up with:
RH forward to the poll
RH back to the tail
LH forward to the poll
LH back to the tail
RH to RF
LF to LF
RH cross over the LF
LH cross over to LF
lay back and sit up
Do this 3x around the arena on Right Rein.
Do this 3x around the arena on Left Rein.
Begin warming up with this at the walk. When you get comfortable do this warm up at the trot.
When you get comfortable do this warm up at the canter.
Ride one full hour for one week without stirrups at the trot.
Ride one full hour for one week without stirrups at the canter.
There you go. After you master this, you seat will be secure enough for any W-T-C on the flat.
If you want to jump, add 3x around the arena, both reins, posting without stirrups.
This is what MY Huntseat Instructor taught us to do, and I only rode a lesson horse 1 hour/week. With my own horses I got a LOT more practice.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
Corporal is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Duffy, yes I've already done this and I know the area, I'll also be going out trekking with my instructor in a different area to get more experience, I just want exercise to do to improve my horsemanship. Corporal, I'm probably being stupid, sorry but what are those acronyms? Also I won't be in an arena so is it not a bit dangerous to be practicing without stirrups on a new horse? I'll be out on beaches and open land
Blissy is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 11:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,135
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RH=right hand
LH=left hand
RF=right foot
LF=left foot

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
Corporal is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Newport, PA
Posts: 464
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I may be dumb to say it this way, but the best exercise for going on the trails, outside of having a riding partner, is simply going. Unless I am misunderstanding something, I think you may be over thinking it. It's not the same as arena work. There may be exercises you can do outside on the trail, but they aren't required for enjoyment. My girl knows that the moment we step foot off the farm, she's gonna get to relax. We ride loose reined, and as long as she is moving forward in the direction I chose at the speed I chose, she isn't going to get messed with.
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skiafoxmorgan is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
Posts: 5,551
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Since no one here has ever seen you ride and you didn't mention anything you were working on, it is kind of hard for them to give you an "exercise" to improve an unknown.

My instructor is a firm believer in circles.... LOTS of circles. Big ones, small ones, spirals inside out, outside in, figure 8's, clover leafs, serpentines with different transitions and movement on the strait away middle, all while maintaining and improving lightness and softness in the rider and the horse.

We work consistency of balance, timing and cues. You can use circles no matter what level you are riding and adapt them to include things you are working on in lessons.

Riding Trails in and of itself is an "exercise" to improve riding as it adds an element of unpredictability that is why I like it. It is a time to take what I have learned in the arena and apply it to practical use such as doing a side pass to open and close a gate, or having to pivot on a narrow trail or tight space to turn around.
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“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
Posts: 1,563
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My horse acts totally different on trails than she does in the arena. If you want to build your muscles, flatwork in the arena will do the trick. If you want to build your partnership on the trails, you need to get on the trails. :)
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“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
ecasey is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 01-13-2015, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Stockport, UK
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Once you are pretty confident with your new loan in the arena the best idea would be to go hacking (trekking) either with someone on foot or someone with a calm, confident horse. You will be to see how you horse is behaving on the trails. See if your horse can be at the front or prefers to follow.
Once you are confident with going out in company, try to go on your own (it can be a completely different story !!). Mine naps and my hacks are not "relaxing" but actually very hard work as I have to be a step ahead of what my cob is going to do. If he has the chance he will turn back home (galloping) or come to a complete stop (not wanting to go further). Good luck !
JoanneUK is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 01-14-2015, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Thanks for all the advice. I guess I am just overthinking it, I just need to relax and enjoy it. I was just worried that if I'm just trekking I won't improve but I suppose any time spent on a horse is good practice.
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Blissy is offline  

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