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View Full Version : Help! We're boooooorrrrrred! Comedic update



Eklecktika
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:34 PM
I have an ittybitty indoor to ride in during winter.

It's approx 40'x80'-quite small, but it's all I have at the moment. The facility has a very nice big outdoor arena, but it's either frozen solid or underwater depending on temp.

I'm about out of 'stuff' to do-it's too small to do much in the way of canter work-new horse is quite green, and balance on the short side is quite difficult for him (weak). I've started asking for just a few strides of canter, but its tough as it takes the better part of a long side to GET the canter, and then BAM we're out of ground. So we walk around the short corner, and regroup, and canter again-for maybe 5-6 strides.

We do groundwork, we do lots of bending, we do a bazillion transitions-walk/trot/halt and every conceivable combination thereof; baby LY and baby SI/renvers/travers.

Serpentines-can usually get three balanced loops, four is awfully tight, and so on-we're progressing slowly (nope, no trainer at the moment) and he's doing well as far as being forward, etc, but he's bored, I'm bored, and to make it worse, there is nary a ground pole in sight.

I'm usually pretty good at thinking up new stuff to do, but I'm having 'writer's (rider's?) block' these last few weeks, and both of us are :rolleyes: at the thought of more of the same.

Any bright ideas from anyone? Specific things he struggles with are REALLY being forward (again-tough to work on in this small area!)-he can be quasi-forward but still sucked back, if that makes any sense-not much drive off the rear wheels, and obviously, canter work.

goeslikestink
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:50 PM
lol get up early make use of the day and get out and hack him

DeeThbd
Jan. 7, 2011, 04:53 PM
Have you ever seen the flipchart books of 101 arena exercises (western and English)? Maybe some challenges from outside of your discipline could be fun!
Dee

Eklecktika
Jan. 7, 2011, 05:14 PM
lol get up early make use of the day and get out and hack him

Not an option. Single mom with a four year old, I leave for work at 7 am and the soonest I can get home is 5:30. (It gets light at 6:45 and dark at 5).

Oh, and there's no place to hack TO-It's smack dab in the middle of town.

dwblover
Jan. 7, 2011, 05:51 PM
Any poles in the arena? If not you can buy some at Lowe's for fairly cheap. You can do tons of fun pole exercises.

Isabeau Z Solace
Jan. 7, 2011, 05:53 PM
Can you free longe/jump ? Excellent time to let the horse work these things out for himself.

goeslikestink - not much hacking in my area either. Hunters have guns and get pissy (As in, one of the worthless jerks left a deer carcass laid at right angle ACROSS the trail path just 20' in from the entrance. What pigs.) I won't talk about the jerk last year who responded to an inquiring rider by exiting his camouflaged tent/blind gun barrel first:no: (jackass.)

Also, frozen mud is really just bad footing. Honestly horses can barely walk on the trails (of frozen clay mud with frozen hoof prints.) If you've got access to pristine grassland it's somewhat doable, but really frozen mud is crappy footing to ride on.

Just ask the fox hunters in my area !

Eklecktika
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:06 PM
I think it is what I'm going to end up doing, Dwblover. Here's a stupid question-what sort of poles? I've always shied away from PVC-too rattly and not heavy enough to self-correct a horse when he's lazy and knocks one.

My brain isn't working-I'm stuck. I've always used landscape timbers-the cedar octagonal ones-but they aren't 'in season'. So, in lieu of them, any bright ideas?

I do have a smallish covered roundpen to use-like 30' dia.

I have zero knowledge of free jumping...and I'm kinda thinking it's probably not a DIY thing to learn...is it? Never even seen it done IRL-thoughts? I would love to do that though-that'd be great exercise for his little brain (and mine!)

GilbertsCreeksideAcres
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:09 PM
Ask Lowe's for some landscaper poles. They should do the trick.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:12 PM
I'm in exactly the same boat. And moving to a barn with a huge Indoor next month. ;)

Eklecktika
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:13 PM
Ask Lowe's for some landscaper poles. They should do the trick.

They aren't 'in season' at HD or any other home improvement store in town.

Not available til roughly March.

Other ideas for poles?:confused:

thanks though!

Eklecktika
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:14 PM
I'm in exactly the same boat. And moving to a barn with a huge Indoor next month. ;)

I hate you. :yes:


:lol:




I'm teasing, of course!!!!

Twigster
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:22 PM
What about teaching your boy to ground drive?

I got my jump poles from a lumber supply company, they cut down 4x4's into octagons. It wasn't the cheapest way to go, but even having 4 or so would be a great start. And I second the flip books, I have "101 Jumping Exercises" and the whole first section is ground pole exercises. Definitely relieves the boredom!

mjhco
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:27 PM
Get wood fence posts to use for ground poles.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 7, 2011, 06:56 PM
You could do obstacle courses with cones and such... Or use another rider as a "road block" -- amazing how small a circle my young'un can canter nicely if there is something blocking the way ;0)
I put the mounting block in the middle sometimes and work around that. Makes it easier to turn etc...

jcotton
Jan. 8, 2011, 09:28 AM
I would not be teaching your horse that only a "few strides of canter" is all you have to do. Make him and yourself go around the entire arena. Will it be dificult at first? ...yes...but you need to take a chance and do it. You may have a warm-up at a show that is that small due to weather.
Your indoor is close to being 15 meters wide and is nearly 30 meters in length.

Get a instructor to give you help and encouragement or send him off for training.

snbess
Jan. 9, 2011, 11:13 AM
In lieu of landscape timbers, 4x4" - 10 foot or 12 foot posts.

I have also set up obstacle courses with cones. Teaches me to focus and get what I want in a short space. Use it to your advantage instead of being frustrated by it.

Eklecktika
Jan. 10, 2011, 06:28 PM
So I scrounged around and found a couple poles.

Decided the best thing to do (since it was cooooooold and I didn't really feel like climbing on a firebreathingdragon on Saturday) was to introduce them in the round pen.

Put a pole at 6 and 12 oclock.

Led FBD over the poles, multiple times, first one way, then the other. Unclipped the lead, and sent him 'round.

He exhibited every. single. contortion. imaginable. to avoid the poles.

I sigh, REclip the lead, and lead him over the poles. No big deal.

Unclipped the lead, he repeated the ACKit'sgonnaEATme routine. I roll my eyes, and decide that perhaps TWO poles is too much, and walk over, planning to remove one. FirebreathingDragon follows me. Lightbulb goes off, and I walk over the pole.

FBD walks over the pole.

I walk over the second pole.

HE walks over the second pole.

I 'trot' over the second pole;

He trots over the second pole.

Repeat for a few laps, and I send him around. He goes over like its not a big deal, albeit with the occasional hairy eyeball directed southward at the pole.

I slide the second pole near the first, and commence walking, then trotting over poles, with him following at a respectful distance behind.

Stupid horse....he's probably sniggering in his stall about 'training' his person.

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 10, 2011, 06:46 PM
You need an equine activity ball:

http://www.westfallhorsemanship.com/shop/product/55/

If you do a google search on it there are some interesting and funny videos on YouTube.

flyracing
Jan. 10, 2011, 07:16 PM
Stupid horse....he's probably sniggering in his stall about 'training' his person.

:lol::lol: Yes, mine does for sure. It's the chat of the barn after the people leave :lol::lol:

As far as avoiding the pole goes (especially when you raise it to a cavaletti or small jump) angle one pole so that if he avoids the one he is supposed to go over, there is another that he can't avoid unless he turns around completely. So if going to the left, put out the straight pole, then angle the second at about 45 degrees towards the direction the horse is coming from. So it looks like this:

.__
/

This will be important when you raise the pole!

dwblover
Jan. 10, 2011, 08:42 PM
:D They do know how to train us don't they? Sorry I wasn't any help with the poles, I got mine at Lowe's in the spring.

AnotherRound
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:15 PM
'K I didn't read the other posts, just the OP, and I am in the same boat! Bigger arena, regulation dressage arena but still, getting bored.

So one boarder brought in her four cavaletti - she made with 4x4 10 foot long, with a 3x3 mitered X at each end, so when you roll it, it can be one of any threee heights - on the bround. Really is nice to trot these poles and place them so he has to extend and float. Good preparation for a jump someday, approach, half seat, floating on your lower leg (no knee pinch), he has to go straight afterwards. Then, one of these rolled so its a bout 10 inches high, trot it.

You COULD work on your canter departs. He really should be responding instantly to your request. All you're teaching him by letting him take 4 or 5 strides to get the canter is to take 4 and 5 strides to get the canter. I know, I'm preaching, but its something my trainer is on me about.

My horse is so bored he is starting to entertain himself with bizarre antics - trotting the long side, he 'dives' towards the ground, front legs akimbo, trying to I don't know what, grab so he can buck, I have no idea, its just bizarre, I can see his knees out to each side as he's trotting. I try to push him on, and he really acts out the next time if I DON'T push him on. Outdoors is 4 inches of snow on top of 4 inches of ice. He seems not to slip as we walk along, because he has snow bubble pads and borium, but I am chicken to ride him in case he falls. Gosh, when I was a kid I wouldn't have thought twice, just go out and hack ala GLS, I guess!

Your ground work is good.

You could practice free longing. That actually would be a good way to get him to learn his balance without you on his back. Its only a few more months of this crap, then we'll be able to get out again.

Someone was talking about making and "X" with ground poles - make and X and then pull them away a bit, trot around the outside edge.

My trainer is making me do spirals - spiral in, then leg yield out (trot). Good balance and stuff.

Walking is really good, really, you build a lot of muscle just at a walk.

I guess I should read everyone elses' suggestions.

allpurpose
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:25 PM
PVC pipes aren't the best, but if you get the end caps and fill them with sand they don't shift as easily.

Eklecktika
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:42 PM
So one boarder brought in her four cavaletti - she made with 4x4 10 foot long, with a 3x3 mitered X at each end, so when you roll it, it can be one of any threee heights - on the bround. Really is nice to trot these poles and place them so he has to extend and float. Good preparation for a jump someday, approach, half seat, floating on your lower leg (no knee pinch), he has to go straight afterwards. Then, one of these rolled so its a bout 10 inches high, trot it.

You COULD work on your canter departs. He really should be responding instantly to your request. All you're teaching him by letting him take 4 or 5 strides to get the canter is to take 4 and 5 strides to get the canter. I know, I'm preaching, but its something my trainer is on me about.

My horse is so bored he is starting to entertain himself with bizarre antics - trotting the long side, he 'dives' towards the ground, front legs akimbo, trying to I don't know what, grab so he can buck, I have no idea, its just bizarre, I can see his knees out to each side as he's trotting. I try to push him on, and he really acts out the next time if I DON'T push him on. Outdoors is 4 inches of snow on top of 4 inches of ice. He seems not to slip as we walk along, because he has snow bubble pads and borium, but I am chicken to ride him in case he falls. Gosh, when I was a kid I wouldn't have thought twice, just go out and hack ala GLS, I guess!

Your ground work is good.

You could practice free longing. That actually would be a good way to get him to learn his balance without you on his back. Its only a few more months of this crap, then we'll be able to get out again.

Someone was talking about making and "X" with ground poles - make and X and then pull them away a bit, trot around the outside edge.

My trainer is making me do spirals - spiral in, then leg yield out (trot). Good balance and stuff.

I really really wish I had an instructor. Sigh.... ok, I'm over it. Couldn't afford lessons right now if I did, so whatever. :) Those 4x4 cavalettis (or would cavaletto's be the right 'wrong' plural form?:lol:) are what I'm planning to build, as soon as I get some fundage. Dang money.

As far as the canter work goes, if it takes 5 strides to get the right lead, I'm actually very happy with that. He's the equivalent of a 30-45 day colt...very green. He's rideable-I have no qualms about riding him out, but there are big holes in the training, so I'm just starting him over. (IOW, no concerns about teaching him that 5-6 strides is all he has to do)

I can clean up the depart later, I just need to associate outside leg = canter. Right now, if I get a couple strides of good, balanced canter, I'm happy. He's gradually getting better, I'm working on the principle of a few, gradually increasing strides of good and balanced rather than endless circles of moderate-to-poor. And by practicing the cue, we practice transitions.

He's been looking for no END of stuff to spook at, and you never know what it's going to be-maybe the wall, maybe the window, maybe the dirt hitting the wall, and what's :eek:worthy one time won't be the next-it'll be the thing that was no issue at all. It's making it really tough to get him really forward, as he's still SO behind the leg, and it's a vicious circle-I've already come off once because he sucked back during a really forward trot. He moves off the leg well, but that's about it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hesitant about cantering very much because of the random spooking-so most of the canter work gets done with the western saddle on and (Needs. Wet. Saddleblankets!) I ride alone, at night, so I can't afford to get hurt, as there's no one around (small barn)

We did a LOT of spirals, baby LY, changing flexion, baby S/in, s/out, hips in/out and changing between the two-he's getting really good at lateral work at the w/t.

BUT no more. :no: As of last night, we're back to ground work only-more stifle issues.:cry: I'm hesitant to work him as hard as cantering on that small a circle requires with wonky/sticky stifles. So, perhaps my cavaletti will be built sooner, rather than later. I finally convinced my BO to STOP already with the alfalfa! but it'll take a while to see if it helps. I need to get a movie taken-the vet has it chalked up to a 'bad step' here and there but it isn't...not the same leg, every half dozen strides.

I was all but ready to put a wing on the ground pole, but decided before I did that I'd better knock it down a level...and then the 'follow the leader' commenced.

Allpurpose-do you find that the PVC filled with sand are heavy enough to remind the horse to pick up his feed? I'm concerned about the splinter-factor in cold weather (teens/20's)-any thoughts on that?

meaty ogre
Jan. 13, 2011, 01:59 PM
I'm also in a small indoor right now. I'd love to go for a trail ride if we ever get a thaw!

I am bored, my horse is bored, and we even have cavaletti! We do poles on a circle. We do poles in lines. We make a + with poles in the middle and do a 4 leaf clover pattern around them. We are still very bored.

I have been eyeing the bridge and mailbox in the corner. The BO and his fiance are western people who used to show in trail classes. That may provide some fun, or at least just something different to do.

No suggestions, just totally know how you feel.

ginger708
Jan. 13, 2011, 02:41 PM
Well I got on the "my horse is bored band wagon" about a month a go and took a jumping lesson. It ended in a pretty bad crash (wear your helmets girls) and I was laid up for two weeks. So when I got back to work I had to start by lungeing.

I found out to my surprise that my horse gets runners high. I started to lunge him for 15 to 20 minutes and then get on. After a couple of days of this he started bucking with me and other shenanigans. So I decided to lunge the bejesus out of him. When we were done I have never seen a happier horse. His ears were floppy he was licking his lips rubbing all over me and just sighing with relief. If I had not known better I would have thought he had smoked a bong in his stall. And he was relaxed and happy for the rest of the week.