How To Make The Most of a Small Arena.

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  kelly_oneill 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    Ok so as I may or may not have mentioned, the arena where I lease my horse is REDICULOUSLY small. It is maybe 7 strides on the long side and very narrow. I feel like its not healthy to ride Oden is such a small space. I rode him outside in the pasture this summer but the very hard dirt didnt do him good. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep him in shape, maybe even doing baby jumps over this winter.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    If I am correctly reading between the lines, part of your lease agreement for Oden is that he must be boarded at this specific barn. If you can’t move the horse, and the accommodations are not sufficient for the type of riding you want to do, perhaps this is not the best lease for you.

    lauren989 Original Poster lauren989
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 9

    My lease with him is free because he owner is a family friend who wants someone to ride their horse, and I cant afford a normal lease. Moving barns isnt an option because she gets almost free board as the barn manager. So I guess ill be dealing with it

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    Extend the long sides, collect in/thru the corners, transitions (down for short sides, up for long), some light lateral work, walk: fast and a LOT, and be creative with ground poles : )

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    So I have have dealt with this for many years. I am no expert, but I have picked up a few things over the years. First the best thing for learning to control your hour’s feet, bending and rating is a small areana. It will put you both more in sync and make you more creative. Next, you don’t need big jumps to practice jumping. The big time jumpers dont put there horses over big jumps to practice except at the shows. The work on struggle between points turning and lateral work.
    Here are some good to exercises I use. Serpentine. Throughout the areana, over ground poles and small jumps. Migrate your way up through the garbage and speeds.
    Next, what I call coil springs. All the way around working off the rail. As you professional you can add poles to work over.

    Another exercise, which I saw Davison,Connor use and it works great. Set up poles or jumps at a comfortable hight in a box formating one line 30 ft apart and one line 40 ft apart. You will need to rate your striding do it a few times as a figure 8. Once comfortable periodically stop your horse in the middle of the books. Stand and then go on. You should change direction periodically in the middle as well. Do fire 8 and fourleaf clovers.

    There are many books out there with exercises for small arenas so these will just get you started. Remember, use ever inch of the areana and be deliberate where your houses feet go. If you done have control of his feet go to lots of lateral work until you can move each foot independently. Good luck and have fun

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I agree with the other respondents- especially with riding across the long diagonal. And remember, too many turns aren’t so great for horse’s legs. If the ground outside is too hard for trot/canter work, what about hill work? If you can trail ride at a real working walk for a longer time, you can build some endurance. What about hauling to another arena or trail on weekends? Maybe you could ask the barn owner to roto-till a track around some outdoor paddocks, or in a pasture, to soften the dirt.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Think dressage! Use the space to make circles, use the diagonal, make a serpentine, combine 2 circles for a figure 8, making sure to change the bend of your horse as you cross to the other 8. Practice transitions. Halt, turn on the forehand, pick up the sitting trot. Do the figure 8 but halt at the intersection- use cones to mark the spot. You can add trot poles for a variety of exercises, ex backing up straight.
    Set your jump in the middle of the arena.
    Pick up canter and Circle at one end of the arena, jump, halt.
    Pick up trot down long side, turn across arena and halt in front of jump.
    Pick up trot, turn down long side so youre now going in opposite directio
    Pick up canter in the corner, make a circle and repeat sequence over jump.

    There are endless variations of this. Just remember to add transitions and changes of direction.

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