Thursday, August 13, 2009
Ahhhh so much you can do with one... Do you realize just HOW much training you can accomplish by using the corner of your arena??? No? Well, then let's get started. First off do you know why corners are so useful? Because they are solid! They have no give. They are 2 pieces of a wall that meet to create a delicious 90 degree angle and your horse has nowhere to go, but where you want him too... OK, now how and what to do with it.
#1. Teach the turn on the forehand. Put your horse parallel to the wall with his nose in the corner, use your outside leg to apply pressure to his ribs and to "push him over." Take ahold of a little outside rein to help guide him as well. While applying pressure of your outside leg, DO keep a touch of inside leg on him so he doesn't think to back up. The idea is to get him to move his body around his front end so he is parallel to the other wall now, but with his nose still in the corner.
#2. Teach the turn on the hindquarter. Again Parallel to the wall on this time with his butt in the corner. Use outside leg as pressure to move his body, again you can use a little rein to guide him if he needs help. This time however use both reins and keep your inside leg off him, so he doesn't think to move forward. Again he should move his body around his hindquarter and be parallel to the other wall, butt in corner.
#3. Use your corners to create and teach a bend. Going deep into the corners will force your horse to bend lest he wants to smack his face into it. Apply your inside leg and a touch of inside rein during the bend, so your horse learns these cues to bend. If he starts to bulge into the corner hold him with your outside leg a little. This will help in executing nearly perfect circles later on.
#4. Teach a horse to back up or back up straight. Again, nose in the corner and parallel to the wall, apply equal rein pressure and squeezing with your calves ask him to back, using the wall as guidance to keep him straight. He he begins to turn his hind end push him back over to the wall with your inside aids and try again.
You would be amazed how much you can accomplish by using the corner of your arena. So many exercises and tools right at your disposal.