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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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When dressage riders on dressage horses get bored and run "barrels."

Trot down the long side. Start working canter in the corner, and turn up centre line. At first barrel (or in my case, set of jump standards), circle right 10m, collected canter. At centre line, flying change to left lead, and circle left around second barrel in a second collected canter 10m circle.

Return to centre line. Resume working canter and proceed to third barrel. Proceed around barrel in a tear-drop shape, with a collected canter in a 10m half circle around the far side of the barrel. Return to centre line and pick up medium canter to run "home." Collect canter back up in a 10m circle to finish, returning to centre line.

Then do the whole thing, reversed, to work your horse evenly.

Yes, I did this last night. And if the fastest barrel horses are 1D, then we were... like... 47D. *fistpump*

Anybody else come up with this, or similar exercises to keep themselves and their horses amused/confused? I won't even call this cross-disciplinary, as to say this in any way resembled barrel racing would be an insult to barrel racing. :D
 

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I am in no way close to doing collected canters and flying lead changes with my mare. But last night we did a fun exercise with pylons in the shape of a large square.

We would trot from one pylon, then slow to a walk before the next - turn on the forehand at pylon, then trot to the following pylon....and repeat. Doing this in a square. In both directions. It was a lot of fun - practicing my seat in getting my mare to slow down from a very short trot to set us up for the turn on forehand.

I love exercises like that - gets my mind off circles. My mare was very confused the first time we did it, but she caught on quickly.
 
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