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This time of year really bites in New England, it get’s dark way too early and the temps are getting way too low. I have the type of horse who catches on quickly and learns routines, but then takes advantage of them. We need to constantly challenge him through his training routine to keep him engaged and thinking. He had a mild suspensory injury back in February from an overzealous romp in the frozen mud and we are going to avoid the pent up winter energy at all costs this season.
Luckily for me, we have access to an indoor and a trainer 6 days a week. So thankfully I can take a few lessons after work during the week. The trails off our barn are going to close soon for winter, but we do have a XC field to hack out on. We have been working with a dressage instructor for about 6 months now and have learned quite a bit about challenging him at the walk and trot without A. Building Stamina and B. Getting hot and sweaty in a colder climate. We have been limiting the canter in effort to retrain him (and myself) how to properly carry ourselves and not let him (or I) explode up the rail. Apparently that is frowned upon in this new dressage world. Go figure. Heehee..
What type of exercises would you recommend, both on and off the ground, to keep an active mind moving without getting bored?
"I thought I knew how to ride, then I took dressage lessons."
Long-lining thru any dressage test/reining pattern. Beach rides/hacks when driving/footing conditions permit (and the windchill is a tad better than 40 below). Less grain (not an option for ALL horses), free choice hay, maximum turn-out, stall toys, rotate turn-out paddocks on occasion if possible (same friends, just a different view).
These activities work for me but I board at home and fully realize many boarding facilities are limited in what they can offer in terms of diversity.
I have elders that live out 24/7 and have a completely different set of issues so can’t offer anything of real substance and solution.
Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.
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