Riding Squares to Achieve Roundness

If you are like me, you have the phrase “inside leg to outside rein” drilled into your brain. Riders across disciplines are taught that our inside leg creates the bend or shape in the horse’s body, while the outside rein moderates this shape, ensuring the horse maintains straightness and doesn’t reach a degree of “over…

Ground pole exercise – side pass over an L

Earlier, I shared an exercise you can crack out on days when it’s too hot to ride hard. This next exercise will also improve your horse’s balance and responsiveness to leg aids. All you need is four ground poles and a little patience. Side-passing over an L Arrange your ground poles in an L-shape to create…

Ground pole exercise – Backing through an L

In the dead of winter, a trainer gave me a couple ground pole exercises to practice. They were challenging and improved my horse’s responsiveness to leg aids. The exercises can be completed at the walk, so they’re great for days when it’s too cold or too hot to ride hard. All you need is four…

Figures for improving balance: circles of doom

I’ve been working hard on my horse’s balance and suppleness this winter, and I recently had an epiphany. You see, I never thought my 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding had a lot of “turn and burn” – the ability to turn on a dime that some horses seem naturally blessed with. But I was wrong. My coach helped…