Keeping On top of my schooling without my trainer!
by KATE COWELL
A few top tips to keep you and your horse out of naughty habits while schooling at home without your trainer
Use your training mirrors if you have them and try being videoed. It’s really helpful to see yourself and your horse from a 3rd person viewpoint as you will instantly be able to keep your corrections positive and troubleshoot any issues. Make a note of your observations to keep the motivation and focus.
Your position will have a real impact on your horses way of going:concentrate on sitting straight, equal, still and supple.
Wear a striped top to see if you’re crooked in the mirror\video. Compare yourself on both reins in each pace. Be your greatest critic.
Practise bridging your reins to keep your hands level and prevent a dominant hand
Change your diagonals in trot to improve your balance round the school
Keep looking up! it affects the whole of your body. I try to keep the brim of my hat 180°. If you can’t remember pin a note on your fence
Focus on your breathing, it will help disable tension and subsequent crookedness
**Progressing with your horse:
Always go back a step in training if you get stuck on something. You can always come back to it later in the session, and in a different way. And there is always another day!
Focus on the basics: rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and finally collection. Keep your horse in front of your aids, relaxed and happy. Avoid resistance. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Use poles to help you: on a straight line or in a fan shape. Keeps horses interested too!
Count the strides in movements to get perfect symmetry on both reins such as the number of steps on a 10 m circle on left rein compared to the right. It’ll tell you a lot! Also use for leg yielding, half pass, walk and canter pirouettes.
Practise test movements to maintain and improve your accuracy
** Make the most of technology:
Equisense is a brilliant sensor that records everything about your schooling session. You can share i t with your trainer, and be inspired with their exercise App
Make the most of online judging, record your test and have top feedback, a great way to check your on track