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.


The Crossroads said...

Great recommendations that I intend on applying to my three year old ;)

Thank ya!

Jane said...

Geez Steph, again you continue to contradict yourself. If you truly did have dressage foundation through third level, you would know that lateral movements like turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches should be taught to even GREEN horses with the idea of steping forward with the hind end BEFORE moving sideways. Maybe you don't really have a TRUE dressage background?? :(

Trainer X said...

Geez Jane, you're still brainless... A LOT of people who read my blog may not have a dressage background like me, so I try to keep training exercises simple so EVERYONE can practice and try. Oh and BTW. Who the fuck are you??? Oh I know a NOBODY!

This comment has been removed by the author.

Hey Jane, where's your blog... you wont even show a profile... takes a big person to hide behind an anonymous blogger ID. You sure are all over Trainer X trying to call her out on her shit, but there you hide, in your dark corner trying to think of snarky comments to post... how freakin PATHETIC you are!!

SpotMeSomeColor said...

I teach my horse both the "western/open show" version of turn on the haunch/fore/side-pass AND the Dressage walk-through version. That way we are ready to compete regardless of the show. My horse gets frustrated working off the wall, so I actually used ground poles in a V to teach my horse.

P_L_I_A_J said...

Great advice - works well when you are asked to do really strange things on endurance rides. I have been asked to do sidepassing up a hill - around tree and then back down again. You never know what will come in handy.

GoLightly said...

Great post, TX!

Jane said...

It doesn't matter what level you readers are at, you aren't simplifying the exercise, you are doing them incorrectly. BTW...where do you get this great dressage knowledge? Can you name one dressage trainer you have ridden with? Oh wait you have never taken a dressage lesson in your life.

Trainer X said...

Sour Grapes Jane Sour Grapes... Tsk tsk...

Jane said...

Wow Steph, when you are spewing your BS you go on and on forever. When confronted with any truth and you only can come up with a few words and an incomplete sentence.
Very interesting.

CCH said...

Uh oh, trouble's a brewin. Sadly, I have no corners, my fences are almost all rounded.

Trainer X said...

Jane it's only because you aren't worth my time. If you knew me like you think you do, you would know there is no truth to what you say. All you do is hide behind a fake name and blocked profile. Real tough. Real Tough.

GoLightly said...

Jane, go kick your horse or something.
It might help make you feel like a rider.

Which, from the sounds of things, you are not.

I never had the use of a round pen, and corners, for sure, are an excellent training tool.
Didn't you know that?

I initiate an inside bend using my outside rein/inside leg. Just a touch of inside rein. Just a touch.

14th, for luck!

Trainer X said...

Oh Golightly I love you so dearly :)

Golden Girl said...
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Golden Girl said...

I have trained several horses/ponies to all three movements listed. I now have a 5yo that just doesn't 'get it' when I ask him to back. :-(
I would be hesitant to mess around with him standing in a corner, he may get frustrated and rear up!
But this could work for another horse's training; it is a starting point and the movement could be refined as you go!

*I hate sour grapes, YUCK! LOL

Word(s) of the day: Anger management!

Guess said...
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Guess said...

OK Steph...

Would Y'all like to tell us which RATED shows you did (up/down the west coast)? The USEF doesn't seem to have any past/present/active/inactive records of you being a member, and by gosh, you HAVE to be a member to show at rated shows. You just don't show up any where.

Btw.. Level 9 jumpers is NOT over 5 feet as you claim here:

Somehow I just don't think your horse, or anything you've ever bought from the Enumclaw auction, is going to make Level 1. Be careful, I have pictures.

Maybe you need to read the USEF jumper division rules before you make a complete fool of yourself.

Next time I see Mark Carter or Sandy Skafgaard, I'll ask them if they even know you. I do have Sandy's email address. Want it?

Third level dressage. Right. Which test? Care to tell us what the membership requirements are? I've never seen you, even as a spectator, at any rated shows.

You haven't yet taken an Intro level lesson with anyone known in the dressage world around these parts. Care to name some/any trainers you've worked with and when? I know most of them.

Keep blowing smoke. Lots of people love hearing themselves.

Trainer X said...

Guess~~ You're just a nobody like Jane... As a matter of fact you prob are Jane *YAWN* Boring....

Trainer X said...

Hmmmm this is weird...
Level 1. Fences 2’9” to 3’0” in height and 3’0” to 3’6” in
spread. Triple bars/liverpools to 4’0”.
Level 2. Fences 3’0” to 3’3” in height and 3’3” to 3’9” in
spread. Triple bars/liverpools to 4’3”
Level 3. Fences 3’3” to 3’6” in height and 3’6” to 4’0” in
spread Triple bars/liverpools to 4’6”.
Level 4. Fences 3’6” to 3’9” in height and 3’9” to 4’3” in
spread. Triple bars to 4’9”. Water to 8’.
Level 5. Fences 3’9” to 4’0” in height and 4’0” to 4’6” in
spread. Triple bars to 5’0”. Water to 9’.
Level 6. Fences 4’0”to 4’3” in height and 4’3” to 4’9” in
spread. Triple bars to 5’3”. Water to 10’.
Level 7. Fences 4’3” to 4’6” in height and 4’6” to 5’0” in
spread. Triple bars to 5’6”. Water to 12’.
Level 8. Fences 4’6” to 4’9” in height and 4’9” to 5’3” in
spread. Triple bars to 5’9”. Water to 12’6”.
Level 9. Fences 4’9” to 5’0” in height and 5’0” to 5’6” in
spread. Triple bars to 6’0”. Water to 13’.

I think level 9 says up to 5 feet. WEIRD!!!