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Boredom Busters!

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  • Boredom Busters!

    For anyone stuck in an indoor... give me your boredom busters! What do you do when it's either too icy to ride outside, or you ride after work in the dark, and are stuck in an indoor all winter?

    Here is what I've done so far:

    -trot poles in straight lines and curves - practice different approaches and bigger/more collected trot

    -cavaletti for trot and canter

    -grids & work on my position

    -practice a dressage test

    -read magazines and books for specific exercises (e.g. found an interesting new pattern in Kyra Kirkland's book, the 'dogbone')

    -work on position (I have mirrors!)

    -adjust the horse's paces to the music currently playing

    -stand up in 2-point until thighs burn

    -perfect my 20-m circles during warm-up (oh boy, they are so perfect! I am so bored!). Now I do a transition before X to another pace/gait, change bend, transition again - this is harder.

    What's your favourite exercise?

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

  • #2
    agility!! (while dodging little kids with no concept of ring manners on tiny ponies)

    actually, teaching lateral work, transitions(to build her hinney!), trot poles, grids, trotting to decent size fences. Tons of stuff to build her hinney and get her to jump of her hocks mainly. Made my day when I whipped her blanket off for the farrier friday and she said wow, look at her tush!! Huge difference already! She said it's amusing this time of year to see the blankets come off and see the muscle just falling away on most of her clients horses.

    Plus, trying to just have some fun. The indoor can get so boring so I've been riding bareback and without stirrups to work on me. long walks on a long rein on the weekends out throught the fields. That's been nice with all the horses penned up in winter paddocks so the gates are all open. She's got a big, marching walk so she gets to stretch out and move. Our indoor is fairly small, so she tends to get a little short and restricted in there unless we get out occasionaly. Our dressage ring has rubber in it, so even when it's frozen, it's not 100% solid, so I've tried to get out there at least once during the week under the lights and just walk and trot quietly, and do transitons. It's her favorite ring, so she can relax and stretch out there too, but we daon't canter if it's frozen at all.


    • Original Poster

      OK not too much interest yet! Here is a good exercise I got from this board (maybe NeverTime?):

      In walk, ride a diamond shape from B to A to E to C to B. Ride straight lines between letters, and at each letter, do a 1/2 turn on the haunches. This helps engage the horse and tune him to your aids. Then do the exercise in trot, with a transition to walk, turn on haunches, back to trot. It's great to get prompt, connected transitions. Next, ride the shape without the downward transition and turn on the haunches (it will be a demi-volte at A and C) - your horse will anticipate it anyway, giving you a nice half-halt feeling with engagement.

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


      • #4
        Swap horses with friends (we had 3 horses and we all rode each for 10-15 minutes and compared notes). It is cool to see what each rider can get out of each horse.

        Ride bareback.

        Have bareback races.

        Ride bareback backwards. So far I have mastered the walk and trot...am aiming for tempi changes as I am told it can be done.

        For any bareback riding it is of the utmost importance to make sure to have a friend with a camera nearby to document all activities on Facebook with pictures.
        put·ter - to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely or casual manner; usually associated with any equine related activities.


        • #5
          Counter canter, changes, and walk-canter-walk transitions. Halt, back 5 steps, then spring off into the canter. Rollback at the walk to canter. Can you tell my biggest issue is canter?

          Walk jumps. Trot jumps. Use a groundsperson and keep trotting to a vertical until you hit 3'-3'3".

          Buy Jimmy Wofford's gymnastic book (it is FABULOUS), as many of those are well suited to smaller spaces.

          Circle of death. Enough said.


          • Original Poster

            Circle of death? Do tell...

            You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


            • #7
              Discipline rail! This can be a ton of fun with horses that are getting bored with the same old drills, and the riders can really get into it. Start out easy, basic transitions, but keep ramping it up. It's like Simon Says, on steroids. It helps if the person doing the calling is creative and has a good sense of timing. And a sense of humor. Horses start to really listen, since they can't anticipate, and it's amazing what you and your horse can do with a little push.

              Again, camcorders and Facebook are essential for this.
              http://thoughtfulequestrian.blogspot.com - My Ventures Into Eventing


              • #8
                Bombproofing day! Traffic cones, tarps, all kinds of stuff on the jumps, etc. Those of us with winter horses may want to turn the horse loose in the ring first to investigate before riding.
                Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                  Circle of death? Do tell...
                  Not enough said, apparently!

                  4 rails and/or small verticals placed evenly on each quadrant of a large circle. Easiest way to measure is to choose a center point and, using a long line, either clip to a jump standard or have a friend hold the end and measure outwards. Then your jumps are equidistant apart from the center.

                  Ride the exercise working on getting one number of strides once around (say 4), then go for 5. Then go for 3. If you have multiple students, try having 2 ride the circle at once.

                  Hard at first, but gets easier. Lots of fun, though!


                  • #10
                    Don't forget free jumping...great when a few friends are around to help.

                    We have a huge indoor, but only part is available for me to use and i'm the only one that uses it thus the footing is very old and dusty...so i keep it to 20 min work outs, lots at the end of the lunge..

                    cavalleties, low fences (standard on one side) I can switch from elevated caveletties at trot (pole up one one side in cup, up to 18" depending on size of horse)..then take out every other pole and turn it into canter bounces. while the height is low for my horses, they really enjoy me changeing the ground poles around....i'll also vary the ground pole with and have them figure out how to get through it..makes time keen on where their feet should be.

                    if i ride, bounces, single jump from walk/trot and any kind of game i can think of...
                    I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!


                    • #11
                      A few favorites, besides those that have been mentioned:

                      Start with a 20m circle and gradually spiral in (not so small that your horse gets unbalanced) and then spiral back out to 20m. Keep a consistent bend, stay in the middle of your horse, and get the spiral in and out from your leg. Hard to do this really right!

                      Stay 1 to 1 1/2 meters off the wall as you ride in the indoor, all the way around and consistently, whether you're doing figures or not. All of a sudden, you have to ride both sides of your horse which is great practice for the great outdoors. I almost always do shoulder-in 1-2m away from the wall just to practice it.

                      If your horse does lateral work, try these two figures:

                      Begin a trotting shoulder-in about 3m from the beginning of the long side of the ring. 2m before the center of the ring, straighten your horse (on the diagonal) to trot the diagonal until you reach center line, then back to shoulder-in on the center line. Before the end of the ring, straighten your horse and then trot a 10 m circle between center line and the next long side wall. Then change directions on the diagonal and do the same figure in the other direction. I hope that made sense!

                      Finally, trot down the quarter line, half-pass a few strides then shoulder-in a few strides and back to half-pass.

                      All of these are pretty easy to do, but VERY hard to do well. Have fun!
                      They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Putter View Post
                        Swap horses with friends (we had 3 horses and we all rode each for 10-15 minutes and compared notes). It is cool to see what each rider can get out of each horse.

                        Ride bareback.

                        Have bareback races.

                        Ride bareback backwards. So far I have mastered the walk and trot...am aiming for tempi changes as I am told it can be done.

                        For any bareback riding it is of the utmost importance to make sure to have a friend with a camera nearby to document all activities on Facebook with pictures.
                        In case anyone would like photo evidence ...

                        Bareback racing: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...101&id=5712690

                        Backwards: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...5ec&id=5712690
                        Take Your Equestrian Business to the Next Level: http://www.mythiclanding.com/
                        Follow me at http://mythiclanding.blogspot.com or http://twitter.com/mythiclanding