Get your dressage horse out of the arena, exercise is essential, but variety is the glue that keeps your training interesting. The Square boxes that I came up with, are a real fitness room for your horse. I drew already 18 different patterns and with the patterns came the exercises. The figures in the boxes help to keep me organized and symmetrical. They give purpose to the movements, and therefore sense to your horse!
I was bursting from inspiration and the first day I rode and lounged in the boxes I almost pushed Csiki too much. I got so much inspiration taking my theory into practise, it was hard to keep my session short enough.
Personally I can get lost in the sea of sand inside an arena. Sometimes it is great to practise in one, because there is the support of walls. And the arena figures help to give direction. But it can get so boring….. Horses are just not born to spend their life inside a dressage arena. But developing a healthy strong horse requiers lots of practise and refinement of them. The art is to keep everything interested!
With this set up you can do concentrated sessions in the squares and alternate with riding long straight lines and big figures on the field. What materials do you need?
12 electricity plastic fence posts. Some tape or thin rope. 4 jumping poles or other logs. Measuring tape. (If you do not measure you get no squares and unevenness)
The ground poles are 2,5 meter. Placed on a 4×4 meter square. The outside square is 12×12 meter. The poles in the corner stand 4 meter from each other. So the middle of each side is a 4 meter opening. Like this:
Everybody can get a free pdf from me, to print it out at home and draw your own patterns!
You can laminate your patterns and keep them at your barn. To use as a guide on what to do.
Link to the pdf’s in the end of this post. One with measurements and one plain.
Under: Just some examples of patterns.
What kind of exercises can you practise?
Square turns, round corners, turns around the forehand, turns around the haunches, travers corners, shoulder in corners, renvers corners, pirouettes 1/8 1/4 1/2 and working pirouettes, shoulder in, travers, renvers, half-pass, lots of different sized circles from big to small in dozens of graduations. You can use the inner box as resting place to take break as reward when your horse gave his best. But the inner box is also suitable to practise suppleness. The ground poles help with proper alignment.
(The sky is the limit. Be carefull not to over ask your horse. It is hard work.) Depending on your level off course but I highly recommend starting at the walk.
Let the horse be with you!
Have fun with creating, let me know what you have come up with.