Rodney’s Exercises as of January 2015

This post is to chart any progress and to give me ideas when I draw a blank.

Easy
From doesn’t faze him to actively builds his confidence

groundwork & trail obstacles
weave poles
360o within a square of poles
wading thru a kiddie pool
cross a “bridge”
standing on a platform
(all in-hand)

mission specific mounted & pre-mounted work
Standing by mounting block (practice couch), in-hand

Medium
Successful but difficult on some level. Mentally taxing.

groundwork & trail obstacles
moving sideways along a pole, in-hand
moving back, sideways, & forward, in-hand
red light, green light (matching the pace of the handler)
weave poles, mounted
lunging

mission specific mounted & pre-mounted work
couch: standing in park with me aboard

pen: walking, mounted
circles: 5-10m at a walk, mounted
lateral work: a mild inclination to shift his weight sideways when asked, mounted
cavaletti: walk over two in a row on lowest setting, in-hand & mounted
jumping: walk over low, very low, crossrail, in hand & mounted
(Milton is usually in the area for the mounted work, providing herd support.)

jump: trot a cross-rail & low vertical, in-hand, actual leaping involved!
(It has been pointed out the exercise meets the criteria for my first New Year’s resolution: jump a horse. Both horse and rider had all feet off the ground, albeit briefly. Granted, that is what I said. I think we can all agree this is not what I meant.)

field walks: small loop, mounted, Milton for moral support, team walk (2 horses, 2 people)
field walks: big loop, in-hand, Milton for moral support, team walk or tandem (2 horses, 1 person)
hill work: in-hand with Milton for moral support, team walk
(Milton is right next to Rodney for these exercises.)

Hard
Causes tension behaviors: jaw crossing, teeth grinding, neck curling, rushing, fussing, putting hooves to his ears and pretending this is all a dream.

groundwork & trail obstacles
long-lining

mission specific mounted & pre-mounted work
riding area: walking around the ring, in-hand

transitions: walk to trot, in-hand
jumping: on a lunge/long-line
(In light of above, he may be better at these.)

field walks: walking anywhere by himself, in-hand
hillwork: walking, mounted, even with moral support

Discussion
As you can see our mounted work has advanced from standing still to creeping along with the enthusiasm of a post-surgical patient being forced to walk the length of a hospital hallway.

Must remind self that progress is progress, no matter how slow.

Any suggestions for specific exercises for us to try?
~~~

Arthur 12 21 14

Categories: Horses

4 replies »

  1. I’m a huge fan of spirals, spiral-in, then spiral-out, can be done at any gait, gives a lot of control over where the feet are falling, without requiring a lot of physical work on the part of the horse – they just have to be willing to listen.

  2. I was that post-surgical patient being ‘encouraged’ to walk to the end of the hallway. Not fun.
    I love the mental picture of Rodney with his hooves over his ears imagining it’s all a bad dream, LOL.

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