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Ideas for exercises at the walk.

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  • Ideas for exercises at the walk.

    Vet's orders are to hop and walk Dublin 15 minutes a day, increasing 5 minutes every week. For 8 weeks! Personally I am thrilled just to be able to get on... Unfortunately Dublin just isn't understanding why we are only walking. So I am trying to think of some exercises that will keep him thinking and engaged. I see this as time well spent filling in any holes in our training at the walk. Lol

    So far we have done serpentines, shallow leg yeilding, and tiny bit of shoulder in. (There might have been some half pass thrown in there, but I don't think we are really supposed to be doing that. Shhh!!!) All stuff we have done before. Also been working hard on getting him to step up from behind and lift his back with contact. But none of this is new.

    Any exercises or ideas? Things to concentrate on? Help us keep the boredom at bay!
    Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
    Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
    "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
    I love my Dublin-ator

  • #2
    Maybe throw in lots of transitions within the walk, lengthening stride and shortening stride, as well as in and out of halt. Also try to use the ring differently, like think where do I never ride the horse? Throw in trying to put hoofprints in places where your normal routine doesn't go...random circles not at letters, not using the quarter lines, etc. Leg yielding a few steps, then straightening out again, then leg yielding from the other leg. Mix all together in with what you're already doing.

    I can ride my horses without a sharps container.


    • #3
      OP, ask your vet before doing lateral work and a lot of transitions, etc. at the walk during rehab. IME, vets don't want you putting torque on the legs even at the walk -- a free walk is best with as few circles as possible. Don't want to reinjure that leg! Sorry, I know it's tedious.


      • #4
        I agree with above, with rehabbing, you really shouldn't do much but meander around the ring with big curves and corners. Maybe you can halt after a predetermined amount of steps (i.e. walk 5 steps, halt, walk another 8 steps, halt), or practice two-point and picking up/dropping stirrups.


        • #5
          Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
          OP, ask your vet before doing lateral work and a lot of transitions, etc. at the walk during rehab. IME, vets don't want you putting torque on the legs even at the walk -- a free walk is best with as few circles as possible. Don't want to reinjure that leg! Sorry, I know it's tedious.
          Yep. Very boring but it's best to stick to a simple walk with lots of straight lines and as few curves as possible! No lateral work, no small circles, no lengthening. You could work on getting him to go very long and low at the walk.

          I would focus on working on yourself, lots of two-point, drop your stirrups, pick up your stirrups, two point without stirrups, post the walk, etc.

          Boring for your horse, but that's the whole point! Keep it boring for him and he will heal properly.
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          • #6
            What about walking over small ground poles? Not sure what your injury is but might ask vet if that is acceptable. Ground pole work always interests/distracts my mare and makes her more engaged when her focus is shot.


            • #7
              When I had to rehab my mare from an injury a few years ago, I did the walk and add 5 min as your vet told you. I did not ask for any lateral work or lengthening/collection. It was so boring, but I walked my horse adding 5 min at a time untill I was walking her for 60 min. By the time I had been doing longer walk times, I would walk along the edge of the driveway as well as doing some of the walking in the ring. When I had gotten the time to 60 min, then I added some trot in place of the walk. I was still very paranoid so I only trotted on the long side and came to a walk before going around the corner. After doing the above trot for a couple of weeks, I added doing a whole lap of the ring at the trot. I basically did what I thought would work as my vet had not given me any instructions-his prognosis was "might be sound for light riding". By taking the long slow approach, my mare came back to her pre injury work.


              • #8
                For rehabbing my horses in the past NO turns except when the ring forced me to turn. NO serpentines/leg yeilds/shoulders in nothing when dealing with soft tissue issues. When rehabbing a bone fracture rehab I did large circles and mild lateral work at the walk.
                Just ask the horse to walk engaged from leg to hand. Transitions from halt to walk, maybe a collected walk to a more forward walk.


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you all for the responses!

                  I don't mind the walking so much, he's the one that keeps trying to trot and go to work. LOL I am just thrilled to be up there. When I say lateral work, I am using the term loosely. Basically just asking him to move off my leg a little. A little bending inside/outside. And only when he is trying to trot. I am not too worried about over doing it, seeing what he does out in the run and in his stall. I am asking him to engage from behind and into contact mostly. That is where I always felt we needed improvement before this all started. Getting him to not change his walk when I pick up a light contact. So that is what I am concentrating on.

                  Funny part is, I trained him myself from the ground up. One of my thoughts when I got the news of his injury, was how much we were going to back slide considering how far we had come. And when I was finally able to get on him after 4 months off I was a little awed by how wonderful and responsive he is. It's always nice when you impress yourself. Lol
                  Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
                  Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
                  "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
                  I love my Dublin-ator


                  • #10
                    Glad he is back to work. Yep, keep it easy right now. Just had to go through this. No fun at all but now we are trotting the ring and going to throw in a canter or two. Are you able to walk him around the property some instead of the ring? I couldn't with my guy, we had to stay in the soft footing but maybe an option for yours.
                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                    • Original Poster

                      Rabicon- Unfortunately he has to stay on firm flat ground. Our barn is on top of a hill, so only the immediate area around the barn is flat. So not a lot of places outside to ride. He would probably enjoy the outdoor, but we have had so much rain it is still under water.
                      Celtic Charisma (R.I.P) ~ http://flickr.com/photos/rockandracehorses/2387275281
                      Proud owner of "The Intoxicated Moose!"
                      "Hope is not an executable plan" ~ My Mom
                      I love my Dublin-ator


                      • #12
                        Oh, yea that so fun. I understand yours and his pain lol. I'd say when he jigs or wants to trot do what your doing with bending on the straight line.
                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                        • #13
                          Practice your ability to read a book while you doodle around the perimeter with the reins in one hand.
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