How do you school when you don't have a school?

Searching for the right instructor? Need some schooling advice? Share your experiences and ask others for help
ridelikethewind
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:47 pm
Contact:

How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby ridelikethewind » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:14 pm

I loan a 14.1hh Fell Gelding who is 4 years old. He's a bit green and I'm really trying to school him up. The yard I'm at doesn't have a school but has lots of hacking and lovely fields, with plans to build a woodchip school in the summer.
But what do I do for now? Any tips for schooling whilst hacking? Any ideas would really help :)

xx

greyhorse
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:55 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby greyhorse » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:50 am

Good that you have nice hacking. If you are building a school in the summer, and are relatively safe out hacking, I wouldn't worry a lot about missing a school. As for schooling out hacking, I'd try and vary the pace within the paces. I'll bet that really going forward will be easy, while slowing and balancing will be harder. Your loan horse is quite young, as well, so hopefully you are hacking out with a confident older horse to steady his nerves and help him face some of the scary things you might come across out in the big world. Good luck!

hessy
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby hessy » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:19 pm

You can practice over the winter as greyhorse suggests schooling out hacking. Things like transitions and then harder things like doing fast trot, slow trot, fast trot - paces within the pace! :), you could even move on to practicing halt to trot and back to halt and then even walk to canter and then back to walk. Hopefully if you teach your pony to go forward and listen to you on a hack then youll find it a lot easier in an arena, as sometimes they get bored and dead off the leg and generally nappy if they are just drumming a track round the edge all the time. Then once you get the arena youll be able to have fun doing lots of different things because youll have the basics established!

Another good thing to practice is hacking out alone and in company and gradually building up to being able to walk, trot and canter alongside and behind and in front of another horse - make sure you have a sensible hacking buddy for this!!! thats most important! This will be one of the things that appeal most to people looking for a horse, one that is safe to ride in company, plus its very handy for the show ring.

On good days you can ride in the fields and do some circles and serpentines and suppling work like that and practice riding across undulating ground to improve the horses balance.

I think its actually a stroke of luck the arena isnt being built yet as doing hacking and riding out will really bring him on.

Just thought of another point - when trotting make sure to try to do rising trot on each diagonal the same amount and same for cantering, try practicing asking for a certain leg instead of just booting on, so you can ask for a certain leg on cue - this means his muscle development will be as even as possible on both sides.

ridelikethewind
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:47 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby ridelikethewind » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:40 pm

Thankyou for the advice :)

I've only had him for around 3 weeks, I share the loan with my good like-minded friend. He prefers hacking in company but there is only one person on the yard prepared to hack out, so its a case of being around at the same time she is. He's amazing for his age, but obviously spooky at times but I'm not worried about that, I'm more worried that I spend the winter months not bringing him on at all, but I agree its probably best we dont have a school.

Also, he's extremely unfit, I cantered him for around 10 strides on a field and he broke out a sweat (he's fully clipped, apart from face and legs), so thats my other problem is increasing his fitness. We are only able to ride him on the weekends now, so any suggestions of anything to keep him slightly fitter?

Thankyou xx

hessy
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby hessy » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:56 pm

I dont think there should be anything stopping you from hacking out on your own. He will need to learn to do that anyway. If youre a bit worried, see if you can tag along family members or friends, bring the dog, the pram etc. the more he gets used to the better. Only go out on roads he has been on before so he knows what to expect. And then explore new routes with his horsey buddy. :)

Dont expect him to be able to do lots of trotting and cantering if he is only worked at weekends. A long hack at walk would be far better for him than a short hack with lots of trotting and cantering.
You can practice your walk, trot, walk transitions and halt, trot, halt transitions every now and then on the hack. And stick to walk and trot mainly in the fields too. Limit cantering to one short canter on each leg.

You can tell when he is tired by his breathing and if he starts to sweat. Give him lots of walk breaks and then do a small bit of trotting and then back to walk again before he starts breathing heavily.

Above all make sure you warm him up and cool him down properly - this means walking for at least 10 mins before trotting and then cooling down means walking till his breathing is normal.

There isnt really much else you can do due to the dark evenings so make the most of your weekends. Is there any way he can be exercised during the day in the week?

ridelikethewind
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:47 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby ridelikethewind » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:35 pm

Yer, I look forward to long hacks just walking around I need to get used to the area.

Theres no way to get anyone to ride him in the week, his owner put him up for sale as she cant ride him and my friend finishes 6th form earlier than me on certain days so I suppose she can ride.

Do you think it would be better to stop worrying about briniging him on and just enjoy the slow hacking for the winter? I'm just worried, what with the excitement of getting him, that I do either too much or too little with him over the winter months.

xx

pukkapony
Posts: 336
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:38 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby pukkapony » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:36 pm

A nice long & relaxed or short & brisk hack each weekend with pleanty of variable paces, routes and things to explore should keep him content and active through the winter. Bear in mind that weather will restrict you at times and therefore only so much is possible.

hessy
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby hessy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:08 pm

I think your friend would probably love to share the riding with you, so thats a good idea if you can get him out an extra day or two where possible.

As for the weather, getting a waterproof exercise sheet will keep him dry so you can go out in the rain and then stick his rugs back on straight after and no need to faff about drying him off. Itll also keep him warmer, as you say he is fully clipped.

I wouldnt worry, just enjoy him and ride away doing as much as you can with him but bear in mind his fitness at all times - always think of how you would feel if you were puffing like mad but still being made to run - thats the way I think anyway :). You could set up some spook training in the field and ride/lead him past/over scary things such as umbrellas, cones, flappy things, tarpaulin etc.

Do you have a trailer? If so you could box him to somewhere where you could have a private or group lesson - will help you and him especially if its regular and if any problems arise it will help iron them out :) If you dont have a trailer, perhaps you could see if you could get a freelance instructor out to give a lesson in the field - it wouldnt be ideal because of the ground so you couldnt do a big pile but it might be worth a think about?

ridelikethewind
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:47 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby ridelikethewind » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:09 pm

Unfortunately, we have a trailer but nothing to pull it! However we are lucky to be within 10 minutes of yards with schools, but the farmers aren't being too friendly with my enquiries as if they aren't interested that I'm willing to pay for use of their school.

I feel kinda pressured because with him being of the age where his mind is like a sponge, I want to teach him all the basics as well as possible, but I find it soo hard without a school!
xx

hessy
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Contact:

Re: How do you school when you don't have a school?

Postby hessy » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:52 pm

They may not have adequate insurance to hire their arenas out. Im not sure whether just having your own 3rd party basic insurance would cover riding in someone elses arena - this would be worth looking into perhaps.

If you think about it though, what did people do in the olden days - im pretty sure all weather arenas were few and far between - so people just rode out round the roads and fields.

You can get decent jeeps for low money if you look around - eg we have a 1994 jeep - ive seen them advertised for a couple of thousand pounds. It sounds a lot but newer jeeps are over 10 grand!! If they are on classic/vintage insurance its cheaper - there are restrictions though, such as theres a limit to how many miles you do per year, but sure you wouldnt be going out every day of the week in it anyway.
Maybe worth thinking about?


Return to “Lessons and training”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests