CHOOSE YOUR OWN RIDING ADVENTURE!
Maybe you’re fuzzy about which aids to use to ask for a specific movement or you don’t know how to calm your tense horse who just saw goblins in the same corner of the ring that he went by quietly yesterday.
Or maybe you don’t know exactly how to set your horse up in good balance so he can do a downward transition without falling on the forehand.
Or perhaps you’re unclear exactly how to structure your warm-up so you can do productive work with a horse who is both mentally or physically relaxed.
And to add to the challenge, the horse you’re riding on any given day doesn’t necessarily feel like the horse you have two days later…Or the horse you have at home is a completely different animal when you take him to a competition.
Now if you had the opportunity to have the watchful eye of a trainer on you at all times, the fact that training is dynamic and ever changing wouldn’t be an issue.
But the reality is that few of us can afford to have a trainer or coach with us at all times to explain the nuts and bolts of movements and exercises as well as help with inevitable problems that come up along the way.
So that’s why I came up with the concept of Choose Your Own Riding Adventure. This program allows you to custom design each ride depending on what you want to practice.
Think of it as a Chinese restaurant menu. Look at all the options and then perhaps pick one item from Column A, two items from Column B, 1 item from Column C, and 3 items from Column D.
Then you can download the individual mp3 files so you can create your own playlist or CD. All you have to do is simply mix and match the short “lessons” to design a customized schooling session on your iPod or CD giving you exactly what you want on any given day. And you can rearrange the order of the mini-lessons as many times as you like for fun and variety.
Below you’ll find 5 modules containing a variety of mini-lessons.
- THE WARM-UP – How to plan your warm-up for everything from the tense horse to the lazy horse so you can do productive work.
- THE AIDS – Includes a breakdown of the use of the seat, legs, and reins for every movement and exercise so you’re absolutely clear and consistent when you give aids and your horse doesn’t have to wonder what you’re asking
- TRAINING SCALE – Use the Training Scale as a guideline for training and problem solving so you always have a crystal clear path to follow.
- PROBLEM SOLVING – Learn simple solutions and techniques for common problems so you’re never at your wit’s end when challenges come up.
- MOVEMENTS and EXERCISES – Learn exactly how to ride accurate figures and correct movements so you can effectively “gymnasticize” your horse.
MODULE 1 THE WARM-UP
- Mounting – Keep your horse comfortable. Teach your horse to stand still and wait for you so he becomes safer and more obedient. 7 minutes
- Warm-up-The Walk – Learn how to run through a checklist of “whoa”, “go”, your position, steering, and contact so you have all your ducks in a row before starting the heart of your training session. 29 minutes
- General Warm-Up – Use the first three ingredients in the Training Scale as your guideline for a productive warm-up. 6 minutes
- General Position Check – Learn how to prioritize position corrections so you’re more effective when you give aids. 19 minutes
- Thinking Forward-Part 1-Responsibility – Teach your horse to take responsibility for his gaits so he motors along on his own, and you don’t end up exhausted! 10 minutes
- Thinking Forward-Part 2-Reactivity to Aids – Teach your horse to react to light leg, seat, and voice aids so you can “whisper” with your aids and your horse “shouts” his response. (…And not vice versa!) 22 minutes
- Three Adjustability Questions – Teach your horse to be supple and obedient by asking these 3 adjustability questions. “Can you give me longer strides and shorter strides?” “Can I adjust your tempo faster or slower?” “Can I put your neck lower or higher within three strides?” 22 minutes
- “Whoa” or Slow Down – Teach your over eager horse to slow down or stop from a feather light aid so you don’t end up pulling on the reins and stopping the hind legs. 12 minutes
- Working Gaits – Learn how to determine if you’re in a good working gait by analyzing, rhythm, activity, and footfall so you can school your horse in the best possible balance. 26 minutes
- Relaxing the Tense Horse – Learn how to “supple” your horse to help him relax so you can do productive work. Remember…work done with a tense horse is a waste of time. 23 minutes
- Relaxing the Tense Rider – Learn 3 simple techniques to help you relax and enjoy your ride. 15 minutes
- Combination Exercises – Learn how to creatively combine school figures, lengthenings, and leg yields so you can accomplish more in warm-up and have time left over in your ride to work on other movements and exercises. (For First Level and Above) 26 minutes
- Connect Your Horse into Either Rein – Set your horse up for a great schooling session by learning how to ask these questions. Are you supple on the right rein and connected through the left rein? AND are you supple on the left rein and connected through the right rein? 15 minutes
MODULE 2 THE AIDS
- The Outside Rein – Learn some simple exercises to help improve your feeling of the outside rein so you become more effective using this multi-tasking rein to control speed, turns, connection, and collection. 7 minutes
- Use of the Aids-Legs – Learn the “things” that the legs control including giving aids, use of the upper leg, use of the lower leg, adding activity, and controlling the position of the hind legs so you can be more clear and precise with your leg aids. 21 minutes
- Use of the Aids-Seat – Learn about the passive seat, the driving seat, and the “stilled” seat as well as how to control the position of your horse’s body so that you use your seat to control rhythm, speed, length of stride, and all downward transitions. 14 minutes
- Use of the Reins – Learn the different actions of the reins and how to apply them so you can create flexion to the left, flexion to the right, flexion “in”, the length of the neck and the position of the forehand so you have the correct influence of all of the rein aids. 20 minutes
- Aids for the Canter – Learn the specific aids as well as the timing of those aids so you ask for the canter at the right moment with aids that your horse understands. 9 minutes
- Aids for Transitions – Learn the precise aids for upward and downward transitions so you’re very clear about what you want your horse to do and he doesn’t have to play “multiple choice”. 15 minutes
- Reinback Aids – Teach your horse to back up by introducing this movement in baby steps so that you eliminate any possible resistance. 5 minutes
- How and When To Give the Aids for a Flying Change – Learn the correct timing and application of the aids for a flying change so you set your horse up to do them with ease. 6 minutes
- Using Turn on the Haunches Aids Correctly – Learn how to adjust your aids so that you make the turn small enough, you can easily bring the forehand around, and you have control of both the inside and the outside hind leg. 12 minutes
MODULE 3 THE TRAINING SCALE
- Rhythm and Tempo – Before (and during!) you do anything else, be sure that your horse goes in a regular rhythm and in the correct tempo for all three gaits so he’s in the right balance to do what you ask. 16 minutes
- Suppling the Poll – Learn how to loosen your horse’s poll so the energy you create from behind can travel uninterrupted through his body. 12 minutes
- Suppling the Neck – Learn how to supple the neck with an exercise called +7/+1 in order to loosen the muscles and calm the mind. 18 minutes
- Suppling the Shoulders – Learn 3 simple exercises to loosen your horse’s shoulders so he’s easier to bend and turn. 14 minutes
- Contact – Learn the 6 qualities of an inviting contact so that your horse is willing and happy to step into your hands. 12 minutes
- Connection – Learn the “connecting aids” so you can easily put your horse on the bit. 8 minutes
- Test Your Horse’s Connection – Learn the two tests of connection so you know for sure if your horse is honestly connected from back to front. 7 minutes
- Impulsion – Learn what impulsion is, when to time your aids to add impulsion, and how to add impulsion by increments so your horse moves more dynamically. 17 minutes
- Make Your Horse Straight – Learn how to straighten your horse with a simple counter flexion exercise so it’s not only easier for you to put him on the bit, but also you lay a foundation for collection. 13 minutes
- Straightness (First Position) – Learn how to ride your horse in first position so you can make him ambidextrous and develop equal strength of both of his hind legs. 13 minutes
- Collection – Learn what collection really is and how to use half halts to collect your horse so he carries himself better. 6 minutes
- Use Transitions to Collect Your Horse – Learn how to evaluate your horse’s degree of collection and to use frequent transitions skipping a gait so you can easily collect your horse. 13 minutes
MODULE 4 PROBLEM SOLVING
- Sitting Trot – Choose from 10 tips to help you sit the trot more easily. 9 minutes
- Canter On the Correct Lead – Learn the aids for the canter and two simple exercises to set your horse up the correct lead. 6 minutes
- Improving Canter Balance – Learn some exercises to improve your horse’s balance as well as improve your position so you don’t make it difficult for your horse to canter. 10 minutes
- Straightening the Canter – Use first position and shoulder-fore to straighten your horse in the canter so he’s in a better, more controlled balance. 13 minutes
- My Horse Doesn’t Respond to the Connecting Aids – Learn 3 techniques to teach your horse to respond to the connecting aids so he truly understands how to come on the bit. 13 minutes
- Helping the Horse That Comes Behind the Bit – Teach your horse to go forward and accept a contact with your hands so he’s in front of all of your aids, and you truly feel in control of his entire body. 10 minutes
- How to Determine the Stiff and Hollow Sides – Learn several ways to diagnose your horse’s stiff and hollow sides so you can modify traditional exercises to make your horse more ambidextrous. 13 minutes
- Improving Stiff and Hollow Sides – Make your horse more ambidextrous by riding the stiff side more ”bent” and the hollow side more “straight”. 13 minutes
- How To Fix a Head Tilt – Learn two simple techniques to help the horse who tilts his head so he steps evenly from behind and takes an even contact with both reins. 10 minutes
- Using Leg Yielding to Solve Common Problems-Part 1 – Learn how to modify traditional leg yielding to improve your horse’s stiff and hollow sides so he’s more ambidextrous. You’ll also learn how to use leg yielding to increase the size of a circle to help your horse pick up the correct canter lead. 12 minutes
- Using Leg Yielding to Solve Common Problems-Part 2 – Use leg yielding to help get downward transitions without having to resort to pulling on the reins, teaching your horse not to jig, improving bend on corners and circles, improving lengthenings, increasing suppleness by mobilizing shoulders and through transitions. 21 minutes
- Improving Balance in Counter Canter – Learn how to use your arms and your upper body correctly so you make it easy for your horse to find good balance in counter canter. Also learn how to keep him straight and uphill, prevent him from rushing, and prevent the canter from becoming 4-beat. 18 minutes
- Developing Lengthenings with a Horse That Rushes – Learn a simple exercise to help your horse understand that when you close your legs in the trot, he’s to take longer strides in the same tempo of his working trot. 9 minutes
- Solving Common Rider Problems in Shoulder-In – Learn how to correct your position to ride better shoulder-in. This lesson includes how to keep your horse’s body on the track rather than letting it drift to the inside, how to keep the correct position of your legs to maintain bend as well as prevent the haunches from swinging out, and tips for riding a consistent angle. 17 minutes
- Solving Common Training Problems in Shoulder-In – Learn how to mobilize your horse’s shoulders so they don’t feel “glued to the rail, how to prevent “head and neck in”, how to handle rushing and losing impulsion, and how to maintain and improve bend. 19 minutes
- Solving Common Haunches-In Problems – Learn what to do if your horse loses his rhythm, tempo, bend or angle so you can ride effective haunches-in as an engagement exercise as well as a preliminary exercise for half pass and pirouettes. 14 minutes
- How to Improve Bend in Half Pass – Learn 3 simple exercises to improve the bend in half passes so you can increase collection with this lateral exercise. 14 minutes
- Maintaining Impulsion in Half Pass – Help your horse maintain impulsion in half passes by taking the difficulty out of the exercise, making sure his body is aligned correctly through the use of shoulder-in or renvers, sitting in the direction of movement, and checking that he’s listening to the outside leg. 17 minutes
- Adjusting the Tempo in the Half Pass – Learn how to use your seat to control the tempo in half passes as well as use transitions within the gait to quicken tempo and downward transitions to slow down the tempo. 9 minutes
- Fixing Common Reinback Problems – Learn how to correct the horse who backs up crookedly, stalls out, rushes backwards, doesn’t “think” forward as he backs up, anticipates, drags his feet, or backs up as a disobedience to avoid contact. 11 minutes
- Fixing Flying Changes That Are Late Behind – Learn 7 exercises to help the horse that changes late behind so you can do clean flying changes. 16 minutes
MODULE 5 MOVEMENTS and EXERCISES
- 20 Meter Circles – Learn the bending aids and the reference points to ride an accurate 20 meter circle so you can help your horse be more flexible and teach him that YOU are the leader. 19 minutes
- 3 Loop Serpentines – Learn how to ride an accurate 3 loop serpentine so you can supple your horse equally to the left and to the right. 9 minutes
- Centerlines – Learn how to turn on and off centerlines as well as do the transitions to and from the halt so you get maximum points for this movement. 17 minutes
- Change of Lead through the Trot – Learn how to seamlessly ride both the downward transition to the trot as well as the upward transition to the canter. You’ll also learn some trouble shooting exercises to help you do this movement smoothly and in good balance. 18 minutes
- Turn on the Forehand – Introduce your horse to his first lateral exercise so he learns the concept of moving away from the leg. Learn the aids and how to trouble shoot potential problems. 13 minutes
- Places and Pattern for Leg Yields – Learn how to do leg yields on straight lines, circles, and diagonal lines including a zigzag so you can loosen and supple your horse. 15 minutes
- How To Improve The Quality of Leg Yields – Learn simple techniques to improve the quality of leg yields so your horse gets the maximum suppling benefits from doing them. 15 minutes
- Trot Lengthenings – The key to a good lengthening is the preparation prior to the lengthening. Learn how to use connecting aids to “coil the spring” of your horse’s hind legs prior the lengthening as well as do the downward transition back to working trot in good balance. 11 minutes
- Counter Canter – Learn the aids for counter canter and how to introduce it gradually so that you minimize resistance and loss of balance. 11 minutes
- Shoulder-In – Learn the correct aids for shoulder-in and how to tell if you have the right bend and angle to get maximum benefit from this lateral movement. 8 minutes
- Haunches-In – Learn the aids and the sequence of applying the aids for riding haunches-in with good bend and angle. 13 minutes
- Turn on the Haunches – Learn the aids, the sequence of applying those aids, and a preliminary exercise for riding a turn on the haunches with correct rhythm and bend so down the road, you can ride a high quality walk pirouette. 9 minutes
- Half Pass – Learn the aids, the sequence of aids and 3 ways of initiating the half pass in the walk so you can collect your horse with this advanced lateral exercise. 10 minutes
- Canter Pirouettes – Learn 2 preliminary exercises to teach your horse canter pirouettes. That is, you’ll practice riding half halts in shoulder-fore on the diagonals and working canter pirouettes so you can do a polished finished product pirouette. 19 minutes
Here are some examples of what I mean. If you bought the Basic Afternoon Hack package, you’d choose 5 mini-lessons. Maybe you’ll combine them to help your tense horse relax, supple his poll, and put him on the bit, By the end of your ride, your horse would be more relaxed, supple, honestly connected.
Or you can take your 5 lessons and combine them in a different way so you not only help your tense horse become more supple and relaxed, but also do exercises to help you relax so by the end of your ride you’re BOTH calm and happy.
With the larger packages, you can conceivably design dozens and dozens of different rides so you have lots of variety and fun in your schooling sessions!
…AND keep in mind that I’ll be continually expanding this list of “mini-lessons” by adding new sessions to it so you can build your own library to suit your needs as your training progresses.
While you can listen to these audios anytime/anywhere, these particular audios are meant to talk to you AS you ride. You create your own playlist from the various mini-lessons. Then you can put them on your MP3 player, iPod/iPhone, smart phone, CD player or however you prefer to listen to music or audios while riding.
If you’re unfamiliar with downloading and playing audios on an MP3 player or other device, we have several links in our help center once you’re member that you can use to walk you through it. All files are provided in simple MP3 format, playable on almost any audio device. You pick the audios and you’ll instantly be able to download right then and there.
|So you can get a feel for the audios, listen to this sample lesson on the aids for Shoulder-In:
Here’s the breakdown of the different bundles.
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