You ride around, feeling a bit aimless and then call it a day, having made no improvement and feeling as though there is nothing to show for your efforts.
If you’re like most of us, you’ve got limited time to ride. So make every ride count. Have fun, learn, and improve you and your horse.
It is those moments where we feel as one with the horse, being carried forward and forgetting about everything else.
It is why we ride, why we keep going through all the challenges and frustrations, knowing those moments are worth it… the first few strides of floating canter, the rhythm of a springy trot, even just the greeting at the pasture gate.
You can be balanced, communicate clearly with your horse, and most importantly – stay in the saddle!
But you won’t make improvements or changes doing the same old thing you have been doing. As the popular quote attributed to Einstein (as many popular quotes are) says,
If you want to get more out of your ride get Stay in the Saddle, 67 Exercises for Horse and Rider and make every ride count!
Create hundreds of different exercise combinations for fun and learning – no more boring rides!
Warm Up Exercises that can be done unmounted before your ride, and from the saddle as you start your ride to loosen your body and calm your mind.
Rider Skill Building Exercises to target a specific skill or area of your body, such as better rein contact, a balanced seat, or easier turns.
Training Exercises to help your horse be more supple, coordinated, and strong, as well as light and responsive to your aids.
At the beginning of your ride, choose one exercise from
each of the three categories:
Choose the exercises for the day based on what you know you want to work on, address specific challenges using the Problem Solving Index, or select exercises at random for a fun variety!
Start with your warm up exercise – either before you mount, as you start your ride, or even use these warm up exercises to practice at home.
After your warm up, do your rider skill building exercise and training exercises separately to become familiar with them – then you will progress to doing them in combination.
For example, if your rider skill building exercise was riding with one hand and your training exercise was a 20-meter circle, you would practice riding with one hand, then practice the circle, and then combine the two and ride the circle with your reins in one hand.
Doing the exercises in this way creates hundreds of combinations and new routines to practice, continually building the skills of you and your horse.
Review the fundamentals of great riding behind each exercise in this course for effective posture and clear communication, regardless of discipline or experience.
Hi, I’m Callie, author of Stay in the Saddle, founder of HorseClass and your instructor through the exercises here. I love working with horses and riders of all levels and specialize in taking a science-based approach to my teaching and training.
This includes a holistic approach to riding, considering the health and soundness of the horse, the suitability of saddle and tack, and the individuality of each horse and rider. What riding is really about is the relationship between horse and rider, it should be fun and enjoyable for both!
Both in my in person teaching as well as through my online courses and programs, I strive to create a positive learning environment for students and horses, always looking for ways to make learning fun, and incorporate the newest information and research on psychology, behavior, and learning.
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