Training Outside The Box, Part 6

There are several common difficulties riders may encounter when training on the trail, and one typical problem is the horse who always wants to be in front. The horse that always wants to be “the leader of the pack” usually has experience being on trail rides with other horses, but he may demonstrate this tendency as early as his first trail ride.

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Training Outside The Box, Part 5, Lower Body Exercises Continued

In this article, we continue our series on “training outside the box.” In our last article we introduced some simple stretching and flexibility exercises to prepare for riding outside confined areas, such as arenas and paddocks.

To do these exercises you will need a consistent, well schooled horse that is tacked up with saddle, bridle and leg protection.

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Training Outside The Box, Part 3

In the last article, I discussed readying the horse for work outside the box by releasing his inner energy through forced exercise so that he can concentrate on the task at hand. In this article, I will discuss how to prepare you, the rider, for your riding sessions by loosening up your joints and muscles through stretching exercises.

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Training Outside The Box, Part 1

This month we are starting a new series of articles on “training outside the box.” The “box” refers to those confined areas, such as arenas and paddocks, where many riders spend training time. It’s time to get out of the “box” and learn to train outside in order to have more fun. Remember, however, that safety always comes first!

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Communicating With Your Aids, Part 10

The goal for both the bending and turning aids is to control the horse’s body position and his balance. In this article, I will use a circle pattern to demonstrate how to correct the two most common problems that occur when trying to keep a horse straight through a turn—the problems called falling out and falling in.

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Communicating With Your Aids, Part 9

In this article, we will continue our discussion of the bending and turning aids. The goal for both the bending and turning aids is to control the horse’s body position and balance. I have received many requests to describe in detail the role of these aids, and so I want to review the nuts and bolts of this very important issue in riding.

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Communicating With Your Aids, Part 5

In the last article, I discussed the importance of the rider’s natural aids in communicating with the horse. This time, I would like to share with you a simple exercise to help you improve the use of your aids: your seat, leg, and hands.

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Communicating With Your Aids, Part 4

The rider’s aids are the tools with which the rider communicates with his/her horse. The “natural” aids the rider uses are the seat, the legs, and the hands. The rider’s legs and seat control the two-thirds of the horse’s body from the withers back. The rider’s hands control the forward one-third of the horse’s body, including the shoulders, neck, and head.

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Communicating With Your Aids, Part 3

Most people who do any form of exercise know that it is important to warm up. Because a horse is an athlete too, he also needs a pre-exercise warm-up routine to help loosen and limber up his muscles after standing in a stall or in a pasture. A warm-up also prepares the horse’s mind, as well as his body, for the work you will be asking him to do — whether it is schooling, trail riding, pleasure riding, or showing.

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