2 Min Training Tips - A Warm Up Plan for Your Horse
Review your riding goal and planned exercises for the day. For example - even feeling in the reins and several connection exercises.
Groom and tack up your horse. A shiny horse is a happy horse!
Check you have your timer on your phone and set it for 5 min. Spend 5 minutes walking the horse forward and back on straight lines and circles. When the timer goes off hit snooze for 5 more minutes.
Now start walk trot transitions. Focus on your goal for the day. Does your horse feel even in those transitions?
When the timer goes off hit snooze or reset and just do 5 min of Trotting. Again, go forward and back in the trot, use straight lines and circles and lateral work your horse is ready for like leg yields and shoulder in and haunches in. Focus on even feeling in each rein.
When the timer goes off – decide what’s next. Does your horse need a few minutes of walk or are you ready to start Trot Canter Transitions? If you need a walk add it here for about 5 minutes and evaluate how things are going so far against your riding goal.
Once you’re ready set your timer and start to canter. Go forward and back in the canter, use straight lines and circles and lateral work your horse is ready for like leg yields and shoulder in and haunches in. Depending on your fitness level and your horse’s fitness level then trot or walk in between to keep the work forward and consistent without losing your balance.
It’s about 15-20 min into your ride and now you can evaluate is your horse moving off the leg? Is their bend in each direction easier and more willing and flexible/supple? Do you feel even pressure in the reins some of the time? Most of the time? More than before or ever? The answers to those questions will help you evaluate how you are doing against your goal. Now ask yourself are you and your horse ready to move on to some exercises?
Set a timer and run through some exercises going in both directions - left and right. Keep the quality of the gait and the fluidity as much as you can. After you've gone each way at least 3 times ask yourself if you are ready to be done. Or add an exercise or your favorite exercise to finish so everyone's happy at the end of the ride.
When your done, then set your timer for 5-10 min and start walking your horse on the buckle. Move the horse forward off of your calf aids – swinging the barrel back and forth. Look for interesting places to walk in and out of the arena. Also pay attention to your horses' breathing - you can walk longer if the horse seems to be breathing heavily. If they seem to be back to nearly normal then you can stop too if you want. Pat yourself on the back and an apple for your horse!
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