The small indoor arena has cones and three poles that can be added. We usually ride with a few cones, unless we have the arena to ourselves and more can be added. Random cone placement made things interesting for a while, but even those become mundane. We have an equine ball we haul, and occasionally add to the mix.
I think Koda & Nemo are both tired of the whole indoor thing too. We can't expect them to look forward to riding, if we don't. They are starting to act up, and that leads to frustration. It probably doesn't help they are back to being turned out half days, because outdoor water is frozen. Nemo cannot get over the arena service door weirdness. Brad has to work on it with him every single ride, even Koda is buying into it. So much for deleting my whine!!
I miss riding outside. It isn't really a winter option where we board, for several reasons. Altho if it ever warms up and isn't icy, I just might find a way to at least do a little outside riding on the ranch.
I like winter, but this year the weather is making it harder to enjoy in general. It's the first winter we've had constant access to an indoor arena, and ridden regularly. I know we are lucky to have this opportunity, it won't last forever. I want to make the best of it. I'm planning on doing some Googling on indoor patterns/riding idea's. I'll let you know if I come up with anything interesting.
What do you do to stay motivated when you are stuck riding indoors for endless months?
I just did a post on how I am tired of the indoor arena, too. Riding with friends help, and trying to teach them new things makes it a little more fun, but honestly, I just can't wait for spring.
Set different goals for each ride. Maybe take one session and just do ground work- especially in the area where the service door is. Work on softness,in hand and under saddle. Draw lines in the sand and use them as imaginary boundaries, like for example, a keyhole where you have to ride in, do a 360 (or 2) and exit without touching the lines. Do it at a walk, trot, and lope. Do same rein serpentines, where you pick up one rein, arc the horse's body slightly, then go down the center of the arena in the arc but asking with your legs first a left half circle (if he's arced left) then change legs and ask for a right half circle, maintaining the left arc.
Do a snail; ride a 10 ft circle, then make the next one a little smaller, andso on until the last circle he is crossing over in front and doing a pivot.
Sidepass the box: walk 3 steps forward, sidepass 3 steps right, back 3 steps, sidepass 3 steps left. This really supples your and gets him using all his muscles.
There are lots of exercises you can do that will give both you and your horse focus, these are just some of my favourites.
Wow, lots of good ideas there...but, I get really bored quickly riding inside too. At heart, I'm a trail rider. But, I LOVE going to clinics provided it's a good teacher!! Those are so much fun because you're riding with a group of people, under the instruction of someone you respect who is pushing you way past your comfort levels, and it's a blast! If they weren't so dadgummed expensive, I'd go to as many as I could, all the time. If there's someone in your area that you respect and would be willing to come to your arena, you could put one together and probably ride for free as the clinic coordinator/sponsor. Something to think about...
Figures, transitions, lateral work and riding every step with complete concentration - trying to improve my position and softness every day. Trying to ride the perfect circle or serpentine. Games - have someone call out points in the arena to ride to - a great way to improve focus. One step at a time and how slow can you walk? Learning to feel each foot. I could go on and on - I love to ride outside but never run out of fun things to do with my horses.
Lots of good ideas from everybody! I seem to lose motivation in the winter myself even with the indoor. It's just so cold it's like riding in a refrigerator. There now I've added to the whine about winter!
Judi: Altho I prefer riding with just my hubby, my horse seems more interested with additional riders. They add a different element, including some light conversation.
Shirley: never thought of drawing lines in the sand, great idea! Having a goal would give more focus.
Koda is so darn "doggy" I spend all my energy just trying to get him to keep going...
Lorie: I haven't been brave enough to go to any clinics (or shows for that matter) with Koda. I can see where not only attending, but the idea's you bring home, would be motivational!
Kate: I really do need to dial into what/how we are doing. I wish I had half your motivation! Calling out points sounds like fun.
Grey Horse: So you've been there? Lol! It really is like riding in a refrigerator, or more like a freezer this winter!!
Thanks for all the fantastic riding motivational ideas!! I found a few ideas from my search to share, follow-up post to come.
“Side-pass the box: walk 3 steps forward, sidepass 3 steps right, back 3 steps, sidepass 3 steps left.
How slow can you walk.”
One we’ve been doing is place a cone on a barrel, pick it up, walk it to the next barrel, then do the same thing going backwards. After a cone, use a bag full of cans, a tarp or coat...
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