The view from the back porch.
We must be having a heat wave here. It was eleven degrees this morning when I got up and it says it feels like it's five degrees. I can't tell you how much I do not like the cold.
I was talking with one of my students the other day and she was lamenting the fact that she really does not have a big area in which to ride her horse. She pretty much has the round pen. She lives in town and it is hard to get out to ride. She does not own a trailer and is limited to where she can go. She has to depend on her neighbor to take her in his trailer, but he is pretty busy too. That can be a pretty tough place to be in. So what can you do if you find yourself in this predicament? Well, there is still a lot you can do in the round pen. What I like to do is work on some basic things that I would work on in the arena, you just have to be creative. You could work on transitions. Working from a walk to a trot for example. Most horses do not trot near enough. Mostly cause it's hard on the human and so we avoid it if we can. Because of that the horse, when asked to trot, will leap into the trot, making it even harder for the rider to sit the trot or even post the trot. So what I do is I ask my horse to trot, and the minute he takes about two or three strides in the trot, I shut him down to the walk. I do that by taking a deep seat like I want him to stop and the minute he walks, I start riding again, but just at a walk. Then I repeat this, over and over. What will happen is the horse will figure out that you're not going to let him go very far at a trot, and rather then jump into the trot, he will step into the trot, relaxed and calm. That means is trot will start to get easier and easier to ride. I do the same thing from a trot, when he is trotting relaxed and calm, to a canter. Again, most folks do not canter their horses near enough in they're schooling, so what happens is they leap into the canter. This makes it hard for the average person to ride the canter cause we get nervous that we won't be able to slow them down. So I only let him take a few strides at a canter till I shut him down to a trot and then to a walk. You don't need a lot of room to do this exercise, and I can tell you most of the horses I see at clinics, could use a ton of this work.
There are a ton of things you can do in a very small space, if that happen to be your lot in life. The important thing is, you do something, anything, just spend time with your horse. You would be surprised what you can do, even if you have limited space. From simple maneuvers to very complicated exercises. That way, when your ready to get out on the trail, your horse will have the skills to keep you safe.
Time to get on the long johns and feed the boys, but first, Coffee
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.