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Taking on a new share... Schooling exercises for novice horse and rusty rider please?!

7 replies

JulietBravoJuliet · 28/10/2013 23:00

After a break of a few years, I've been offered a share! Now I'm overweight, unfit and very rusty, and he's only 4, but extremely chilled out and calm. He hacks out no problems and his owner is just starting to have lessons on him, which I've also said I feel I would benefit from, as it'll help my riding get back up to scratch, and mean we're singing from the same hymn sheet where he is concerned.

However, my memory of how I used to school is hazy, and I would appreciate any pointers! He's not been cantered in the school yet, as he's a big lad and quite unbalanced, so what's the best way forward with this? I feel like a novice just starting out, not an ex owner and regular competer! Lol

OP posts:
dappleton · 29/10/2013 09:38

If you are going to have lessons on him then i'd take pointers from those, i.e. have a weekly lesson then spend a couple of sessions practicing what you have learnt before the next lesson then hack inbetween. Just be careful not to over do it i.e. make sure you and the owner are schooling and having lessons on different days and keep up with the hacking.
If you want to get started before the lessons then i'd start with rhythm - making sure he's walking and trotting nicely, working well into the corners of the arena, 20m circles, serpentines, figures of eight, lots of changes of direction, centre line, 3/4 line etc - keep his focus. Add in lots of transitions also. When happy with his walk and trot rhythm start adding in some canter. Don't let him plod around heavy on his forehand.
Don't know if that helps or if it's a bit basic, it's hard to give advice without seeing you both, which is where the lessons will come in Smile. Have fun

miggy · 29/10/2013 11:30

my favorite schooling guide is a book called "cobs can", lots of simple stuff you can work on on hacks as well. Not just for cobs either.

Pixel · 29/10/2013 19:49


Hmm, Cobs Can has mostly good reviews but is rather expensive for a paperback. Still, Christmas and my birthday both coming up .

Is it yet another book that assumes we all have an olympic-sized dressage arena in the back garden or would it still be useful for someone without a school (or even decent off-road hacking)?
miggy · 29/10/2013 22:06

Am a bookoholic pixel and have shelf full of largely unused schooling books but this is one I regularly take out and read in the bath Smile
No you don't need massive arena lots of stuff you can do out hacking if needs be

cungryhow · 31/10/2013 12:47

101 Schooling excercises for horse and rider by Jacki Bell is quite good, excercises for all abilities.

Pixel · 31/10/2013 17:35

Thanks Miggy, that sounds promising Halloween Smile

Booboostoo · 31/10/2013 17:59

Be a bit careful. 4 is very young for a horse, he really needs an experienced rider to bring him on and work him through the wobbles he's going to have from now until he settles at about 6yo. I am not saying that you are not that rider, but think about it long and hard because if things go wrong you will both lose your confidence.

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