Bored Horse Suggestions Please
Hi, let me start off by saying that I am not a dressage rider but I still feel this is the best category to post this question. I am bringing my horse back into work and he has SI/hind end muscle issues so I have to bring him back very slowly. He is a jumper at heart that's what he loves to do the most but I do enjoy working on flatwork and trail riding as well. Right now he can walk and do about 10-15 minutes of trot work. The problem is that with the ground frozen I can only ride him in our tiny indoor, it's the size of two 20 meter circles stuck together. I do understand the basics of dressage (I've taken a handful of dressage lessons plus some lessons from an eventer) and I do ride him collected once he is warmed up. He is part gaited so he has to be encouraged to use his back and hind end as much as possible to maintain a nice trot and stay balanced. The problem is that he is bored out of his mind and starting to act out. Here is what I've worked on so far, any suggestions for exercises, books, articles would be fantastic.
I usually do a 20-30 minute walk warmup. I start out on a completly loose rein a few times around the ring each direction. I then take my reins up to a light contact, at this point his head is still level more like a hunter horse. I walk across the diagonal and quarter lines focusing on him walking straight using my leg and seat to support him. I start adding circles and serpentines and asking him to bend and begin to collect. I throw in lots of halts. I also work at lengthening and shortening his stride at the walk, sometimes on a loose rein and sometimes when he is collected. After he is loose and using himself well at the walk I move to the trot. Because he is unbalanced I focus a lot on him holding his body straight and balanced through the corners and in circles. He does not have very much training in lateral movements and because of his hind end issues I am hesitant to ask him to do lateral work until he is stronger. Unfortunately there are no poles in the indoor and they are really far away in the pitch black after work to bring into the indoor and put away. I can use poles on the weekends but if it' nice outside at all than I ride outide and he's happy. There are cones that I can use but I have no ideas on what to do with them.