Gears — Arena Boredom Break!

Winter is STILL here and the arena feels like it’s getting smaller and smaller. After a 1 month hiatus from jumping, to work on my dressage, I decided to create an exercise that would;

1) Practice the turns & rollbacks we have been working on

2) Set up low cavaletti’s to re-introduce jumping

3) Keep the OTTB brain engaged & constantly listening

What I came up with was an extension of the ‘Cartwheel‘ exercise. The cartwheel exercise includes 4 poles on an 20m circle. The goal is to get the horse going around the circle rhythmically, bending through his body, lifting his back, and suppling through the turns. When you replace the poles with cavalettis, the exercise increases in difficulty, as now you need the same canter between each pole as well as the same jump over each cavaletti. You either have to have a very consistent horse or a very adjustable one!

So what happens when you have 2x the Cartwheel?

GEARS: The Double Cartwheel

Gears: Jumping ExerciseSet Up:

1) Set up 3 cross-rails on the center line, lengthwise at X, D, and G

2) Set up cavalettis near V & P, R & S, & if room permits, between M & C

(I set up 1 between M &C to act as an “entrance” into the exercise, so Oz could build confidence over a quadrant of the circle instead of the full circle).

Now the fun part!

Different Patterns:

Simple Serpentine:Simple Serpentine Complex Serpentine:complex-serpentine Figure 8:figure-8






You can also do a “free-form pattern” and just keep turning, adjust the strides, and keep your horse thinking. Just make sure you have a plan going in, and arn’t just turning and burning. You should always know where your next 2 jumps are, so you can bend & adjust your horse as necessary and send clear aids.

It looks like we’re breaking out of the minus temperatures this week, so we’ll try to get one or two more boredom breaks in before spring 🙂 HAVE FUN!

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