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cruel and unusual equitation exercises

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  • #21
    This has been an excellent thread so far- lots of creativity. I bet students of run of the mill programs are scratching their heads going, huh?

    My favorite requires jumps and helmets that are no longer allowed. You can try with the new ones, but it's not quite as fair. We schooled routinely with a roll of masking tape atop our helmets, over practice medal courses, set to height. Given that I was on a TB, this was excellent to teach smoothness, to not "scream" the distance. It was perfect with with a knobbed velvet hunt cap, it's never quite worked the same on a GPA type. Credit goes to Carol Fulton.
    EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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    • #22
      back in France I got to cry my eyes out with some of these exercises LOL

      No stirrups for the whole hour lesson

      jumping with no stirrups

      no reins on the bridle

      jumping without touching the reins

      jumping eye closed

      jumping with your hands on your head

      jockey style

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      • #23
        Oh these are all great... I have a feeling lessons are going to be "fun" tomorrow with all of this inspiration!!
        www.CastleHeartFarms.com
        Hunters, Jumpers, Equitation and Ponies
        Don't practice until you do it right, practice until you can't do it wrong!

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Pixie0304 View Post

          No stirrups for the whole hour lesson

          jumping with no stirrups
          hahahahaha. apparently you've never experienced "no stirrup month(s)" Literally the stirrups are taken off and locked away.. for every lesson, every exercise, every day.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse View Post
            This one truly is cruel and unusual, but it WORKS for people that have this problem:

            When I was about 14, I rode with a trainer that had absolutely.zero.tolerance for looking down, EVER. After a particularly vocal few minutes during which we (a gaggle of giggling teenaged girls, the night before shipping off to a decent-sized horse show) couldn't stop looking down for whatever reason, trainer broke out the duct tape.

            A tiny strip of duct tape on the back of your neck will REALLY, REALLY demonstrate just how often you look down at every single point during your ride. Of course, you can remove it with rubbing alcohol after you're finished (no need for that kind of torture!).
            I like that!!!!!
            Author of COTH article "The Other Side of Aaron Vale"

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            • #26
              Originally posted by dags View Post
              This has been an excellent thread so far- lots of creativity. I bet students of run of the mill programs are scratching their heads going, huh?

              My favorite requires jumps and helmets that are no longer allowed. You can try with the new ones, but it's not quite as fair. We schooled routinely with a roll of masking tape atop our helmets, over practice medal courses, set to height. Given that I was on a TB, this was excellent to teach smoothness, to not "scream" the distance. It was perfect with with a knobbed velvet hunt cap, it's never quite worked the same on a GPA type. Credit goes to Carol Fulton.
              Bell boots work well on the newer types. Plus, they bounce softly, so no angry horse when it gets smacked with falling objects
              .

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              • #27
                Originally posted by forestergirl99 View Post
                No boots on? So barefoot?
                Yup...unsafe but it works like you wouldn't believe. It makes you appreciate your heels so much more haha

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by TheOneandOnly View Post
                  Ive got a cruel one for you..

                  My trainer makes us do "jockey position". We put our stirrups waayyyy up so that the top of the iron almost touches the bottom of the flap. We have to get our butts out of the saddle and keep our backs parallel to the ground (somewhat like a jockey would). We trot laps and she times us for 6 or 7 minutes each direction. Literally TORTURE. But it kills the abs, butt, and thighs
                  I'm willing to endure any kind of torture to kill my butt completely and send it into oblivion

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                  • #29
                    I miss you and I am glad to hear you are enjoying your new horse
                    The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Twigster View Post
                      At the trot, post 7 strides, 2-point 7 strides, sit 7 strides (without stirrups).
                      I've started to incorporate this into my team's riding routine as well, but instead of 7 strides, it's down the long side post, short side sit, long side 2-point, short side sit, etc. Only once around to begin with but eventually moving up to 3 or 4 times around each direction without a break.

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                      • #31
                        Lots of positional changes at the trot and canter, like others have suggested, are very helpful in steadying the leg and working on an independent seat. At the trot, one of my favorites is sitting two, posting two, sitting two, standing two, and repeating. Also, shifts between full seat, half seat and two point. At the canter, posting without stirrups and doing variations of standing and sitting (ex. stand two sit two...), as well as cantering in a very upright two-point to build balance. If you jump, jumping without stirrups or without reins is good for balance and strength. Doing gymnastics or lines with eyes closed (and on an honest horse!) can also help with waiting for distances and not jumping ahead.

                        The duct tape thing sounds both perfect and awful- my coach has been harping on me for looking down after my fences lately, so hopefully this doesn't occur to her! I had a dressage trainer who used to make me put a whip behind my back and in front of my elbows to keep my shoulders back and my upper body from collapsing. It worked, but it was so painful! Sometimes before shows we'll ride in paddock boots and leggings or yoga pants- makes you feel like your leg won't budge once you get back in your breeches!

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by mroades View Post
                          double posting, and posting the canter with no stirrups
                          The late Jon Conyers, god bless him, used to have "no stirrup Tuesday" (hell Tuesday to students) - and a lot of the lesson would consist of exercises like you mentioned. Lots of double posting, treading, two-point, and cavalletti (raised and flat) with no stirrups. The ultimate test was to see whom could ride the horses that liked to be a bit "up" or "fresh" (ie, buck/crow hop) without stirrups while trying to concentrate on the equitation lesson.

                          My equitation trainer from long ago was also a bit "cruel and unusual" - I'm talking if your leg was not in the perfect position - she would tie the stirrup to the girth with bailing twine (your leg COULD NOT move). You'd warm up on the flat like this, then she'd put you on the lunge line and put you O/F - sometimes taking away the reins as well.
                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                          ~Coth's Resident Deatheater~

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by TheOneandOnly View Post
                            hahahahaha. apparently you've never experienced "no stirrup month(s)" Literally the stirrups are taken off and locked away.. for every lesson, every exercise, every day.
                            ahah, no worries, I DO know, when I say no stirrups, the stirrups were taken off the saddles .
                            I cant remember my trainers doing it for a whole month or more, but they sure did it more often than i liked it !

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                            • #34
                              another one I just thought of is, my latest trainer in the US, he was making me carry a crop between the inside of my elbows and my back to FORCE me to stay sit up straight

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                              • #35
                                So I'm not sure this is very safe, but in college out trainer would have us do "jockey style" by putting our feet on TOP of the stirrup. (between the two leathers) I can't say I'd do that now but I had crazy strong legs back then.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                                  Bell boots work well on the newer types. Plus, they bounce softly, so no angry horse when it gets smacked with falling objects
                                  Good to know. I always thought staying on the buck when the tape flies off and nails horsey for complying with the flying long to the 3'6" oxer was part of the exercise
                                  EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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                                  • #37
                                    Hmmmm...we do stuff like this pretty frequently!

                                    Drop just the inside stirrup at the trot and do a lap sitting, then posting, and make sure you do both directions.

                                    Both reins in the inside hand, outside hand straight out, on your head, or on your hips (jump a course that way, too...even if it just cross rails, it makes you steer with your legs!).

                                    Ride with just a bareback pad, but do your normal flat routine - posting/sitting trot, canter with flying and simple lead changes. Really makes you aware of your position! Then on to the poles...and the jumps! Love those.

                                    Then add just a halter and lead-rope to your bareback days...only if your horse is an ok one to do that on, of course!

                                    2 point transitions - walk-trot, walk-canter, trot-canter, and down again. These hurt!

                                    ...and the worst torture...

                                    If your horses are good on the lunge line, have someone lunge you with no stirrups and no reins. Start with your hands on your hips, then do head, and out to the side. Then try twisting to the outside, then to the inside (this makes me motion sick sometimes!). Do all of that at the walk trot and canter.

                                    Also tough and a good workout for your legs is lateral work into upward transitions - like leg-yeild at the trot and then transition to the canter. Makes you AND your horse work!

                                    I'm sure I have more. I'm a weird one that likes all this stuff, because I know it makes me a better rider

                                    Of course, all credit goes to my trainers on these!
                                    "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Lizrd View Post
                                      1) Putting heels in the stirrups instead of the balls of your feet. Helps you learn to keep weight in your heels.
                                      I've always been told that this is dangerous, and can lead to you getting dragged if you fall. No idea - never seen it in action, and I hope I never will - but something to think about.

                                      For me, the worst are 1) jumping with no reins, but your arms out to the sides like wings, 2) jumping with no stirrups, 3) jumping with neither reins nor stirrups.

                                      Bareback posting is also a good one - a horse with sharp withers will quickly teach you not to land too hard

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by CHF View Post
                                        Oh these are all great... I have a feeling lessons are going to be "fun" tomorrow with all of this inspiration!!
                                        Agree ! Some of these are new to me ,who knew duct tape had so many uses. Ok here is one that hasn't been mentioned - drop stirrups then ride holding the bottom of the stirrup on the top of the foot.

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                                        • #40
                                          One year we did the whole winter in two point and the following year we did the whole winter without stirrups.

                                          And are winters are November to March!!!

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