Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Snuggles and cross-rails

Hannah and I have been getting to know each other over the past few weeks. She likes to snuggle and earnestly thinks she should get a cookie every minute or so.

She quickly got my husband wrapped around her little hoof. 

She's round and soft from her extended time off and slow rehab. She needs some muscle development and overall fitness work.

I've been riding her several days a week. I'm having a surprisingly hard time adapting to riding a made horse. I need to get rid of my overly defensive leg position and stop carrying so much tension. 

We've been doing mostly flatwork but have added in ground poles and some tiny cross-rails. She gets bored easily, so if I don't keep things interesting she gets a little sassy. I've been doing pattern work and circle of doom exercise, but am on the hunt for good exercises. Please feel free to link/share some in the comments!


  1. She must be a bit of an adjustment :) But sounds like it's going well. And she's so cute!

  2. Some of my favorite flat exercises...

    12 steps walking, 12 strides sitting trot, 12 strides posting trot, repeat
    Circle at the trot in a figure 8, but in the middle down transition to a walk and leg yield over the new way before picking up the trot
    I like doing a big figure 8 in the ring, but double posting on the diagonal and sitting trot on the ends

    If you're cantering, working on the halt to canter transition is a tough one ;)

  3. She's so cute! Agree with SheMovedtoTexas on the 12 steps walking, 12 strides trot, etc exercise. That one is fun because you can do it with so many different gaits and in so many different ways.

  4. We usually do 10/10 but i agree with the exercise above. also figure 8 across a cross rail or poles at a canter. expanding and shrinking circles, shoulder in/ haunches in alternating down same line.

  5. I'm new here, so am going to have to go right back through your blog and get to know this cute mare! Even though she is quite soft and round, she looks lovely. Bay horses never disappoint.

    A good exercise is shoulder in on a circle, it's really suppling and good if your horse has a tendency to get distracted. It's difficult too, so should keep her busy!

    1. =) Welcome! She's new so you're coming in at a great time! And good suggestion with the shoulder-in exercise.

  6. Check out the book "101 Arena Exercises" (or something like that, I can't remember the exact title). It's a spiral-bound book that you can take right into the arena, and it offers some great suggestions on how to mix things up a bit!

  7. she has the sweetest face! i'm so glad you're enjoying your time with her so far! re: flat work exercises, Britt from House on a Hill did a great post on cavaletti exercises a while back here:

    good luck!

  8. I did a difficult exercise the other day with 4 ground poles on a "square" with two at the top angled. We started by doing circles around the ground poles and then eventually did them all on a circle and played with doing the same, as well as different, number of strides between them.

    Very simple concept, but very difficult to execute!