Month: May 2013

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 12- The Biggest Horse Show You’ve Ever Competed In

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 12- The Biggest Horse Show You’ve Ever Competed In

Day 12- The Biggest Horse Show You’ve Ever Competed In In 2007, I competed at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. I had never before, and have never since, competed in anything on a national level. I wasn’t some kind […]

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 11- Your Favorite Tack Shop

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 11- Your Favorite Tack Shop

Day 11- Your Favorite Tack Shop Who remembers when State Line Tack partnered with PetSmart and one could find horse things there? That was the best. I was extremely disappointed when that partnership ended! I started riding in the days before online shopping was a […]

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 10- Five of Your Favorite Jumping Exercises

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 10- Five of Your Favorite Jumping Exercises

Day 10- Five of Your Favorite Jumping Exercises


I love gymnastics and grid work. I think they’re invaluable for sharpening a horse’s skills, building confidence, and improving a rider’s position. That said, I don’t know that I have specific favorite exercises that I return to time and time again. I’m more of an improviser. So, here are five exercises I think are very good!

1. Gymnastic #2 from Jim Wofford’s Modern Gymnastics (also found in May 2012 Practical Horseman, and online here). It’s four ground poles, a jump, and a one-stride to another fence. This is a great confidence builder; I jumped Colter through it today. The trot poles really help establish a good rhythm and set the horse up for success over the two fences. I did a crossrail for the first fence, and eventually ended with a 2′ oxer. It rides well; I increased the distances a little bit to compensate for Colter’s very long stride. (Note: I think you can also find this gymnastic in Wofford’s Training The Three Day Event Horse and Rider.)

2. Exercise 7 from this PDF from the Alberta County 4-H. This sheet has several good exercises, but I love exercise 7- two bounces to a one stride. I particularly like bounces because they make horses that rush (like Moe) sit up and sit back on their haunches. 
3. “The Y” from this Horse Illustrated article on grids. This exercise is a two or three stride followed by a three stride bending line. I think when trainers and riders think “gymnastic”, they think “straight line”; however, it’s important for horses to learn to turn while jumping. This exercise is effective and something different for horses to think about.
4. An Australian publication, The Horse Magazine, featured this exercise from Colleen Brook. It’s simply two jumps set nearly parallel to one another on a slight angle. (You just have to go look at it, I think.) As the graphic on the article illustrates, there are about a dozen different ways to utilize just two jumps; that’s great news for people like me who own four sets of standards!
5. Horse Channel featured the “wagon wheel” exercise way back in 2007 as a way to help riders with rollback turns. It’s four crossrails set up on a large circle (width of your arena). The goal is to ride through three or four times while keeping a steady, even pace and jumping in the middle of each crossrail. I’m excited to try this with Colter soon!

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 9- Your Show Goals for 2013

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 9- Your Show Goals for 2013

Day 9- Your Show Goals for 2013 My goals for 2013 are pretty basic: Show Gina in enough local dressage shows to sell her. Take Colter to a schooling horse trial and a recognized horse trial. I don’t plan on taking Moe to any shows […]

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 8- Your Favorite Horse Magazine

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 8- Your Favorite Horse Magazine

So I didn’t post this yesterday, unfortunately- but I’ll just continue the blog challenge in order, whenever I think of posting. Day 8- Your Favorite Horse Magazine I’ve been a longtime lover of Practical Horseman; I love George Morris’s cranky Jumping Clinic and always have. […]