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Canter Haven Farm
The Solo Equestrian
Exercises for solo schooling
Ground pole WTC exercise: Click Here for an exercise to work on balance, straightness, and responsiveness
Schooling your horse at home - Learn to do it and learn to do it well! Even with regular lessons from an Instructor/Coach, riders still need to be able to school their horses at home or on their own. This is why you work with a professional and take lessons - So that you can be successful when they are not around! Do homework and become better. Exercises done without guidance of the coach should be well thought out, set up correctly, and have some elements that are challenging. If you make it too easy, you will get complacent. That is just human nature. And your horse will also get bored. Mix it up! If you make an error, be mindful. What went well with the exercise and what did not. Be honest! If a rail gets knocked down- you guessed it - get off and put it back up! Unless you have talked your friend or significant other to hang out by the arena, there may be a lot of mounting and dismounting. Tip - have at least 2 mounting blocks at opposites of the arena!
Schooling at home, which I call Solo Schooling, does help me be more focused and aware of me, my horse, my surroundings - probably out of necessity as traveling to lesson is sort of a big deal. Since I keep my horses at home, I travel a lot. With diesel being 2 bucks more a gallon than gas, and at 13 miles a gallon, I have that expense to attach to lessons. Clinics and coaches are at least 1 hour away from me so my time + 40 or more miles = added expense to lessons with coach. I want to make sure that I am prepared for lesson and have done my homework. Sort of pointless to just do weekly lesson and have to repeat half of the past lesson again if homework not done correctly.
Part of solo schooling is to also read many articles about grid-work, jumping exercises, and rider bio-mechanics. I like to look for extra information rather than relying on my instructor to share techniques with me. Recording my rides has helped me fix trouble spots and stay focused (as I have always been my worst critic).
The Solo Equestrian is my latest project that aims to share videos of what the horses and I are working on. Also, hopefully inspire others who find that the bulk of their riding is at home, without their coach. Check out the Instagram and TikTok links ---------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>
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