How to Use Your Arena Rail to Improve Your Riding


Manage episode 288192611 series 2558820
By Strides for and Lorna Leeson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Have you ever ridden in an open space, a large open space? A space with no boundaries, or fences, or hedges, or any natural 'this is the end of this space' obstacles. It takes a lot more focus to ride accurate shapes and straight lines. We tend to 'wander'...

So many of us forget how beneficial an artificial aid the boundary our arena rail creates. Not only does the arena rail or fence mark the 'end' of our riding space, but it also boosts our confidence; "He can't run away, there's nowhere to go"

And it also helps us as an artificial aid. Something that will help us to strengthen and become more focused with our natural aids.

Size Doesn’t Matter All That Much

Last week I was working with a rider on another farm, and we didn't have the luxury of a demarcated arena. We were working in a large paddock, which was wonderful. However, the 'fence' was quite a bit away from us. The exercise was to ride a 20m square in the walk.

What became apparent, very quickly, was that without reference points, the square was not all that square! The size was changing, there were curved lines. It definitely lacked right angles at the corners. And, rather than riding the exercise to work on what we actually wanted to work on, all of the rider's time was devoted to trying to actually visualize the square on the grass in this large paddock.

Riding straight lines is a difficult thing to do when there’s nothing guiding you and keeping you on track.

The good news is that the size of your arena is not what’s important here. A 20m x 20m space can be great when working on accuracy and suppleness. What is important is how you use the arena rail to being strengthening your natural aids. This is for those times when you find yourself without an arena rail to follow…


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294 episodes