In search to keep our excercises organized and keep variety, I installed my boxes on the pasture. This is a set up of two squares. And it is so challenging, until grand prix level you can come up with all kinds of excercise, circles , cloverleave- pattern, squares, turns around the forehand turns around the hind end, travers shoulder in renvers, change of bend. Inside the small box, or in the big box, and if that is too tight, you can also make patterns that are wider than the installation.
This is a decievenly simple set up, but you can use it like a fitness school for you and your horse. For Csiki it is important to make straight long lines as well. I want to be carefull with her she has sensitive hocks and she is a little overweight. Now I can ride her on the pasture for some cardio, then go over to the boxes and do some concentrated work. To go out again for some happy laps on long rein. Flat work so to say, in walk trot and canter.
Longing and groundwork also get a new dimension inside the boxes. When the idea came in my mind, first I only saw riding possibility. But when I was finished setting it up, I instantly saw how much it can add to groundwork and longing exercises as well. Farewell boredom… Welcome variety!
Experimenting today in my laboratory, gave me so much feedback I need to clear my mind for a while. Let it all settle in again.
Small turns went better if I started them a little shouder fore.
One little discovery… shoulder in, is easier if you do it around the ground poles. The ground poles give such a good reference when the shoulder in gets out of shape or direction.
Another little discovery about why the exercise boxes are a great tool. If you practise riding with your seat as primary aid. You can use your horse as a barometer because what your seat is doing will direct your horse.If you forget about the reins for a while. You don’t end up correcting with the reins, what your seat told the horse to do. This way you can improve your balance. Riding in the box requires precision steering.
The dressage pattern designer for the square boxes is in the make. I will explain everything in my next blog post. So you can use this great tool for your training.
Let the horse be with you!