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Help! We're boooooorrrrrred! Comedic update

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  • Help! We're boooooorrrrrred! Comedic update

    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 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.
    Last edited by Eklecktika; Jan. 10, 2011, 06:36 PM.
    I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
    Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

    ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.

  • #2
    lol get up early make use of the day and get out and hack him


    • #3
      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!
      Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
      Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
        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.
        I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
        Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

        ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


        • #5
          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.


          • #6
            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 (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 !
            "Friend" me !



            • Original Poster

              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!)
              I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
              Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

              ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


              • #8
                Ask Lowe's for some landscaper poles. They should do the trick.
                Looking for horse activity in the Twin Tiers? Follow my blog at http://thetwintiershorse.blogspot.com/


                • #9
                  I'm in exactly the same boat. And moving to a barn with a huge Indoor next month.
                  "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by GilbertsCreeksideAcres View Post
                    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?

                    thanks though!
                    I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
                    Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

                    ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
                      I'm in exactly the same boat. And moving to a barn with a huge Indoor next month.
                      I hate you.

                      I'm teasing, of course!!!!
                      I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
                      Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

                      ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


                      • #12
                        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!
                        Reasons I'm crazy, #37: I went out shopping for a pony and came home with a 17hh OTTB
                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                        • #13
                          Get wood fence posts to use for ground poles.


                          • #14
                            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...
                            "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht


                            • #15
                              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.


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • Original Poster

                                  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.
                                  I am not allowed to look at breeding stock.
                                  Or babies. Or CANTER, et al.

                                  ESPECIALLY not CANTER, et al.


                                  • #18
                                    You need an equine activity ball:


                                    If you do a google search on it there are some interesting and funny videos on YouTube.
                                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Eklecktika View Post

                                      Stupid horse....he's probably sniggering in his stall about 'training' his person.
                                      Yes, mine does for sure. It's the chat of the barn after the people leave

                                      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!


                                      • #20
                                        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.