What’s In Your Arena? 5 More Exercises to Keep You Motivated This Quarantine Season

Between practicing social distancing and hearing of what feels like endless event cancellations, it would be easy to feel a little blue right about now. But eventers are made of tougher stuff, and we’ll come out stronger on the other side. To keep the momentum going, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite exercises that we’ve shared on EN. Set these up in your arena and enjoy!

Triple of Barrels 

As you know from previous editions of “What’s in Your Arena?” that I have authored because I didn’t get it together in time to enlist someone more qualified, I am the world’s laziest course builder. (See also “Wylie’s Short-on-Time Shamrock” and “Another Great Exercise for Eventers Who Have Nothing Left to Give.”)

Did I mention that barrels are cheap AND easy? Go splurge on a few via Craigslist. The hard part, of course, is actually jumping them — but you won’t find a better test of accuracy, straightness and honesty. Click here to read more.

Photo by Leslie Wylie.

Ride The Rhythm

This week’s What’s In Your Arena is brought to you by Lainey Ashker’s popular #GOTD series. This collection of gymnastics in a course-like setting utilizes the whole arena and is an effective training tool for horses and riders at every level.

Lainey’s exercise has everything: canter poles, cavaletti, related distances, cross rails, square oxers, turns and changes of direction. Plus it looks like a ton of fun and a real thinker! Click here to read more.

Up Your Circle Game 

Have you gotten dizzy practicing Werner Geven’s Circle of Hell that we shared a few weeks ago? You’re in luck because we’ve got an even bigger challenge for you today: Meet the Circle of Hell’s big, bad brother.

Lainey Ashker shared this gem as part of her #GOTD series. Like Werner, she describes the task as “deceptively simple,” but if you tried the Circle of Hell in your arena, then you know that it’s anything but!

Essentially, you start on the circle with four rhythmical strides in each of the ‘slices,’ then you take it out to surrounding oxers, which are set on an outside line with two of the verticals set on the circle. Click here to read more.

Simple Gymnastics to Start the Season

A deep dive in the Evention TV archives unearthed this simple, three-part gymnastics exercise that incorporates trot poles, a low, easy bounce and a one-stride to a vertical. This is a great grid to get the jumping muscles working, get your horse thinking about where he’s putting his feet and allow you to practice your position. It can be built up or down for any level and jumps added to it as time goes on. Click here to read more.

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Lainey Ashker’s Latest #GOTD

Lainey’s latest #GOTD has everything: bounces, combinations, bending lines and one of those super fun but slightly intimidating wide oxers.

“So the main focus here is the grid in the center with the X-vertical bounces but figured I would lay out the whole course for your added viewing/riding/entertainment pleasure,” Lainey said. “This grid focuses on straightness, teaching the horse to slowdown and to react off the rider’s leg to make the distance to the oxer all the while engaging the hind legs.

“The ride each direction over the grid gives a different feeling which makes it really fun and informative for both horse and rider. Remember the primary focus in influencing a horse’s speed/balance over jumps is not use of a hand, stronger bit or magic but correct rider position. The use of the wide oxer in the latter part of the course is to teach the horses to push from behind.” Click here to read more.

Photo and diagram by Lainey Ashker.

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