Ever get a bit stuck in a riding rut? I know that competitions are starting to resume gradually now, but happens if you don’t compete? Maybe you were in lockdown for a while? Maybe you had a long time off from riding all together? Here is a blog for you! I personally find instagram and Youtube very inspirational for ideas for my rides so in this blog I will share with you some of my ideas to spice up your riding without having to go to a show!

In the Arena

  1. Pole work. There are so many great exercises you can do with poles. I had no idea until I discovered Equispire on instagram. Kirsty publishes an exercise regularly, she has a stride guide you can download so you can set up your poles correctly and has even has a ‘Pole Work Exercises for Horses’ book you can buy. I have tried some of her simpler pole exercises when I was riding Mya and it was such fun! Head to facebook to join the pole work facebook group or follow her on instagram @equispire.
  2. Try some in hand exercises with your horse. Lots of the girls at my yard do ‘Equi Feel’ which is kind of like doing an obstacle course with your horse in hand with bit of liberty work! It looks like loads of fun and I had actually booked onto a clinic with Mya to have a go before it was cancelled because of lockdown.*Sob*
  3. Online Dressage. If you a follower of mine you will know I am a big fan of online dressage! I got me into dressage when I didn’t think it was possible and really gave me & Mya something to work towards each month. I have competed with E-Riders and Dressage Anywhere and would recommend both! You can even have your test marked without being submitted into a class with Dressage Anywhere if you don’t feel quite ready to compete.

Online

  1. Check out Emily Dunstan’s ‘Press Play and Enter at A’ dressage vlogs. She has recorded all of the British Eventing 90 tests and each test shows her and her horse Sprite doing the test with a voiceover. Although they are designed for you to learn your test for a competition, there’s no reason you can’t learn them at home for fun! Subscribe to Emily’s you tube channel here to check them out.
  2. Horse and Rider UK have a treasure chest of videos and articles about any type of riding exercise you can think of. My favourites are their simple how to videos where a professional rider explains a certain movement such as ‘How to leg yield’ with Mary King or ‘Working on a long rein’ with Chris Burton. Head to their website to have a look for yourself.
  3. Have a virtual lesson with a pro rider. The one good thing about lockdown was that it brought riding lessons online! I know that Fred Scala and Olivia Towers offer virtual riding lessons now.

Outside of the Arena

  1. Hack 1000 miles with Your Horse magazine. The challenge is hack 1000 miles this year. Head to their website to find out more.
  2. Head to the beach! Or just try hacking somewhere new. If you are able why not box somewhere for an adventure?
  3. Be brave and try and make some new riding buddies. Why don’t you try riding out with someone you don’t normally? You may become firm friends!

So, those are just some ideas to spice up your riding this summer! Do you have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments!

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