Travels With Rodney, Old Arena

Training Journal

If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.


The covered arena at Stepping Stone Farm. This is where we go when we need a contained space.

This is where I had my first ASB lesson. [Ears, Sam I Am]

This is where I first sat on Milton. [I Ride Milton!]

This is where we retreated when Rodney suffered a trotting relapse. [Libations]

It is a useful ring. It is covered, so the footing is good on muddy days. It has walls, which my two horses seem to appreciate. It has sturdy walls, which I appreciate. It is small to ride in. My 17-hand horse finds the circle a wee bit tight. It is a great size for lunging or ground work. Rodney has been doing liberty work there, pictured. I need to do a post about this.

So, a ring built to similar specs would be useful, location irrelevant. However, I think there is an added bonus to this particular ring, in this particular place.

For over seven years, I have been riding in this ring. For my first lesson. For the first lesson with a new horse. For leg lessons, when the goal is to concentrate on form rather than on steering.

It’s not just me.

Since September 2012, I have see the same thing with other riders. First time on a horse? Round pen. Feisty horse? Round pen. Having issues? Retreat to the round pen.

Each time the round pen is chosen over the big ring, the message gets reinforced: the round pen is a protected space. It still may not go well, but you have a better chance there.

This message has seeped into my subconscious. I am a weenie conservative rider. I am a slightly braver weenie conservative rider in this space.

Another reason why we continue hang out at a saddle seat barn. [Where Everybody Knows Our Name]

In case you were wondering about the design scheme. Photo borders: green for Rodney, red for Milton and dark blue for SSF.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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