I love gymnastics exercises, and have had a book filled with all of the ones I have ridden at various lessons and clinics since I was 13. However, I realised I have never published these, so here are some pictures of my favourite ones!
Firstly: Why do we do these exercises?
They are great for a range of reasons, fixing straightness, improving the gait, suppleness, cadence, increase activity behind, increase stretch into your hand, and for me, the canter exercises help to get my eye into seeing distances.
Most of these exercises are done with cavelettis, with the following spacing (note that this will change depending on horses size and stride, be adjustable!).
Tips from Ingrid Klimke in an interview with horse magazine (article referenced below)
- Start with a single caveletti, and then build up to a couple, but maximum 4, incase they need to jump out after spooking.
- Use wood poles, so they don’t clatter when they fall and the horse reacts to touching them.
- Include gym work a few times a week!
Let me know if you would like to see a post on my favourite grids and XC exercises in the SJ arena!