Horse Riding Exercises, provided by eXtension

October 17, 2019

I’m Clint Depew with the LSU Ag Center. Today
we want to talk about developing riders, particularly young riders to get their balance on the horse,
to get their hands and feet independent and to help them develop rhythm on the horse
so that they can be good riders whether they want to ride on the trail or go to
a horse show or anything else, to develop a secure safe seat on a horse and be comfortable. Today we’re going to start off with a series of exercises
that we’re going to do on a longe line. We want the young people to not have
to handle the horse, have somebody else on the longe line handling the horse so all
they have to do is worry about riding. So we’re going to start with that exercise and with
that, I’ve got Cleve and Judy Weisgerber here the county agent in Vernon parish and they’re
going to start with the exercises starting on a longe line. So we’re going
to start off at a walk, and Judy is riding the horse, Cleve is handling the horse, and we’re going to start off at the walk. The first
thing we want to do with our young riders is to get their legs independent of their arms and their hands so we’re going to ask her to stand in the stirrups With young riders they can stand and they can hold
the saddle horn if they need to if they don’t need to that’s great. But basically this
is going to get the lower leg off of the horse, we want contact with the
upper leg, knee, and part of the calf basically we want that foot to be solid
and independent and away from the horse so that when we do cue the horse with
our leg and ask him to move sideways or move forward, whatever, he can feel that and understand that. Now, we’ll do this at a walk, trot, and a lope,
Cleve, if you’ll speed up and trot a little bit Just getting those legs independent. Now, the legs should be still, hopefully the head and shoulders will be still, and we’ll absorb
all of the movement of the horse basically in the middle of our body. So do this
exercise at a walk, trot, and at a lope and go slowly until your riders are comfortable
with it. Once their comfortable, then you can keep adding the pace. Don’t get in a
hurry. We’re going to show you the exercise today, but not take the time that you
would need with a young rider. Now, if we can get her to sit down, And we’re going to drop her feet out of the
stirrups. Again, we go back to the walk And we’d like her legs to basically, to drop her leg back into
there, for her leg to stay in the same place that it would be when you’re riding with stirrups,
so the knee would be bent, legs slightly under you, this is going to
develop the rider from the knee up through the waist. And this is where we want most
of the absorption of the movement of the horse Again, the shoulders and the neck are still, the feet should be still, and the hip and the waist movement is following the movement of the horse and relaxing. Alright so let’s trot at that if we can, And again, Judy is an accomplished rider, so
she’s sitting real close to her horse and relaxed. And this is again developing the rider
from the knee up to the waist Now, pick up your stirrups again, Again, we would do this at a walk, trot and lope,
and let your riders hang onto the saddle horn as much as they need to until they’re comfortable. Now, the thing we want to do is get
our legs and our hands independent. So we’re going to start off after we’ve stood
in the stirrups, we’ve ridden without stirrups now we’re going to start doing riding arm exercises. So, at a walk, trot, and a lope, we’re going to
ask her to reach over and touch the horse way over on her neck, and bend her body. See this
is going to get the bend in the waist get you loose there, and get the horse comfortable. Young kids will ride this way, they’ll start
relaxing, they’ll stop worrying about falling off and just start having fun. Ok, straight back on his hip. And then straight up, straight up, and then down. Ok, the right hand, change hands on his neck back on his hip straight up and down. Now take both hands straight out. Now, swing your arms forward, twist forward and twist back And in time we will start doing this in rhythm with the horse and let’s trot and do the same thing Now in the riding exercises we’re going to take a lot
of time, we may take a month or 2 months just doing these exercises before we ever let them ride independently. Alright, can we lope a little bit Alright, can we lope a little bit We’re going to do the same thing, all the same exercises at a walk, trot, and lope, and every time
your rider is more comfortable, you can increase the speed, you can increase the motion, until
we get a rider that’s very comfortable with the horse. Alright, stop a second. Now, as the rider is more accomplished, now we’re going
to ask her to bring her right leg up And we can take it and have her ride with the
leg up. This again is getting the leg independent of the hands, now take your left hand over on his neck back on his hip Straight up and down now put that leg down, bring the other leg up take your left hand this time, or either hand,
left hand over on his neck, back on his hip, straight up, and down Now, basically what we want to do with these
riding exercises is get these kids where they can stand good in the stirrups, their feet
are solid in the stirrups, their hands are independent of their feet so if they
move their hands their feet don’t move so we can guide our horse and we start finding balance If we give kids the opportunity to sit, and relax
and ride, concentrate on other things besides falling off the horse, most of them will
find the rhythm pretty quick and they really get to be competent riders in a hurry.

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