Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Changing Routine

Earlier this week, on my Horses Are Our Lives chat group, I started the discussion of changing routines. As you ride, continue to change the routine so that you and your horse do not get bored with your ride or your workout.

If you have to ride in an indoor arena, try to keep changing direction to keep the horse thinking and paying attention to you. If you ride in an outdoor arena, ride towards a spooky corner or site for all directions. Let the horse see something from all angles. If you ride the roads, try to weave down the road if you can see what is coming from all directions. Add some leg yields to keep the horse moving forward, but listening to your cues.

Sometimes, I'll do certain maneuvers on different days, that way I'm not always
working on everything all the time. I may do the gate one day, work more on side passing logs another day, trot more logs the 3rd day, and so on. I'll still work these maneuvers every day, but not as much. I'll concentrate on 1 obstacle each day.

I still work on some of the same maneuvers every day, but not as much. I may do a lot of 2 tracking (half passes) one day. Other days, I’ll work on the side pass. Another day, I’ll work on pivots.

Outside of the arena, how do we change routine? Go on a trail ride. Work in the outdoor arena. Take a trip down the road.

Personally, I do not like to road ride, every since the day a neighbor lady almost ran us off the road. I was riding with my 3 children, not even ¼ mile from home. My youngest son was riding in the saddle in front of me on my horse, and my other 2 children were on their horses. I think they were probably 8 and 10. The neighbor lady didn’t think we should be riding our horses on the side of the road. She passed us, turned around, and came back toward us. She didn’t move over, and was only about 1 foot from the back legs of my son’s horse. His horse started backing up and I thought she was going to hit them. I was furious. My husband wouldn’t let me go over and face her. The chicken. Did I say how furious I was? What an old biddie (sp). She never waved at us or ever talked to us, for 15 years!!!

The other main way that I break up my routine is to ride in the fields as often as possible after harvest. I love field riding. Now I can ride the waterways. I can also ride the CPR land. I need to do that more now, as I’m preparing for a horse camping trip to SD, and also for some fall CTR’s.

What other ideas do you have to break up your riding routine?

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