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Lesson - Circle, Circle, Circle

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  • #41
    Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
    Important detail and one to share with trainer.

    Ummm... no way trainer does not know already on this one. Have been around horses with the same issue and their programs were always adapted to suit what they could do and avoid what was more difficult for them. They did fine as long as the limitation was kept in mind.

    Too many small circles is a valid concern for this horse IMO.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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    • #42
      It sounds like this is one of those situations where the horse owner needs to step up and be an advocate for the horse. Just say "no" to that much circling, and explain why. Don't back down from it. If the trainer won't agree to treat this horse differently due to a physical limitation, then I'd stop riding this horse with this trainer...no matter how great the trainer is.

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      • Original Poster

        #43
        Originally posted by CHT View Post
        You could just say: "My vet doesn't want me doing much longing or repetitive circles with horse as his joints are starting to show his age."
        I have mentioned this in passing but have never outright said this.

        Originally posted by findeight View Post
        I think I see where OP is coming from and it's not quite the same place as others assume.

        OP has quite the journey with this horse. It's a QH with a good dose of of TB, very nice horse that was supposed to be a Hunter.

        Unfortunately it did suffer a back end injury with lasting effects, she can share the details if she chooses. He is quite useable but there are some things that are difficult for horses with similar issues.

        Might be a bit questionable to dwell on a 20m circle. Sometimes even the best trainers are overly optimistic when they throw out the old "you won't hurt him. He'll be fine", especially with even mild limitations. They don't know for sure if its beneficial or not.

        I think OP is right to question this. Don't think she is being a worry wort or over protective at all.
        You know us all too well but I know it's because you have been along for our entire journey (going on 8 years!). My guy is an Appendix. 3/4 TB, 1/4 QH. He was a show Hunter when I bought him (did the QH circuit... Congress and such). I have been able to do some low level Hunters with him along w/ the low level Eventing.

        Yes, he has a hip injury that he acquired about 3 months after I bought him. Freak accident thing. It has been a struggle to keep him sound over the years as he has to compensate for it. If he stays fit and strong, he's good to go and you can't see his "hitch". But any time off/injury/weakness... and he's got the hitch. But still serviceably sound. Vet thinks it's great that we keep working him but not to over do it. He wants me to enjoy him and as long as he isn't showing any discomfort, it's all good.

        I have gotten the "he'll be fine" comment from trainer when I have lightly mentioned the circle thing. I'm not sure if it's beneficial for him or not. The reason she is riding him 1 day a week is to help me get him stronger so he will stay sound. He definitely has to engage his hind end more when he is on the circle. We haven't been taking lessons nor has she ridden him long enough to tell. Do circles help build up the hind end? Now, she only rides him about 20 minutes. She likes to keep it short and sweet so she's not pounding him into the ground. My lessons can vary in time length. But we do a lot of walking.

        Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
        Important detail and one to share with trainer.
        It has been shared but I think I need to be more firm about it.

        Originally posted by quietann View Post
        Good detail. Is there room to make the circle bigger? I try to stay out around 30 meters most of the time with my mare because of her joint issues, if all we're working on is "the circle."
        Yes, we could use 1/2 of the ring as a "circle" and I'd be okay with that. But we seem to always stick to about 1/4 to 1/3 of the ring and only on one side (closest to the gate).

        Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
        OP, can you clarify whether this trainer is having you maintain bend or if she is just having you work on things in a generally circular pattern?

        Another point to consider is how often you have lessons.
        No. We aren't really working on bend right now. Just a general circle pattern. Though she will have me work on bend for just a little bit especially if he's falling out of the circle. She works on bend when she rides him.

        I take lessons about once a week. Time permitting.

        Originally posted by findeight View Post
        Ummm... no way trainer does not know already on this one. Have been around horses with the same issue and their programs were always adapted to suit what they could do and avoid what was more difficult for them. They did fine as long as the limitation was kept in mind.

        Too many small circles is a valid concern for this horse IMO.
        Again, yes... she knows about his injury. But I've never really sat her down and looked her straight in the eye and gave her all the details. Might be time for that.

        Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
        It sounds like this is one of those situations where the horse owner needs to step up and be an advocate for the horse. Just say "no" to that much circling, and explain why. Don't back down from it. If the trainer won't agree to treat this horse differently due to a physical limitation, then I'd stop riding this horse with this trainer...no matter how great the trainer is.
        Yup. I think I need to sit her down and explain the extent of his injury and my desire not to do endless circles every lesson. And go from there. And also express the same for her training rides.

        Thanks again to all of you for your help and support.

        Comment


        • #44
          Interesting discussion, valuable, thanks to all posters.

          There is a coach at the barn I ride at who has her students on a circle for 90% of the lesson, every lesson, every student. Until I noticed this I had considered taking lessons with her but that became the deal breaker for me.

          I would also add that there are many other ways to work on the bend or to improve circles, besides circling itself, e.g. spiral in/out, leg yielding, etc. etc.

          Agree that sometimes it's warranted, but for every lesson, I can't justify. Unfair to student and horse, and also well, just no fun, and that's part of why I ride! One can improve AND have fun lessons with interesting exercises.

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