The Horse Logic Blog

Friday, February 1, 2008

Funny Horse "Excercise" email forward

This is very funny, and any horse lover has had these experiences before. I am not sure who wrote this, but I wanted to post it. Hope this makes you smile:)

Sara Chicago Riding Lessons

A show of hands for those of us that own the "Right Horse"!!

Read on......

Response to Dr Phil's comment on horse ownership as exercise:

At this time of year, after the holidays, ads for weight-loss programs saturate print media and the airwaves. Even TV talk shows devote time to the battle of the bulge. I caught part of a Dr. Phil episode in which the prominent self-help guru was evaluating the situation of one overweight guest. The woman commented that she'd like to buy a horse so she could get exercise via riding. "That's great for the horse," responded Dr. Phil drolly, "but what good is it for you?" Obviously, Dr. Phil has missed out on the cardiovascular workout we women get attempting to get into a sports bra and riding pants...

Clearly, the good doctor doesn't own a horse. At least, not the right horse. A quiet, well-broke, agreeable mount may indeed not offer much in the way of fitness training. But, the right horse (and most of us have owned 1 or 2, haven't we?) will provide a body-building, cardiovascular-enhancing workout that would make Richard Simmons envious. Allow me to explain...With the right horse, you begin your fitness program by walking out to the pasture. As you stride briskly, you carry the halter and lead rope behind you, pushed up high on your back so the lead doesn't drag. The purpose of this is to tone your chest and upper-arm muscles (because you're not fooling your horse- -for he knows what you carry). As you approach to within a few feet of him, he'll walk slowly away from you, but at a pace just so you can't reach him, then stop. This will be repeated several times in succession, until you're ready to jog. At that point, because you own just the right horse, he will trot, then gallop around the pasture.If you're at the advanced level of fitness, you may continue chasing after him for maximum aerobic benefits (or, just stop and start throwing rocks at him to give your rotator cuffs a workout. Make sure you switch throwing arms, not only is this a benefit to you, your horse will think it hilarious). Beginners may prefer to toss the halter and lead on the ground, bend forward from the waist, and engage in heavy breathing and chanting (that's what we'll call it, anyway -- chanting) as the horse continues to circle the field. For those of you that have experience with this exercise, you may choose to throw the halter and lead, walk briskly, bend, pickup, repeat. When the horse determines you've had enough of this warm-up session, he'll allow you to catch him.

Now comes the total upper-body workout of grooming. The right horse, of course, will be caked in dried mud. The cement-like consistency of it will require work-to-exhaustion effort of your biceps and triceps. NOTE: this exercise has added value, the dried mud will stick to your face with perspiration, instant facial!

Next comes the bending, stretching, and toning of hoof-picking. Bend over, pick up the horse's left front foot, then be prepared to jump back as he stomps it back down to the ground, narrowly missing your foot. (Keep your knees bent as you jump, to protect your lower back.) Reach down and pick up the foot again, hopping about with the horse to maintain your grip as you attempt to pick what seems to be dirt mixed with Super Glue from the hoof. Eventually the horse may stand still; you may be chanting by this time. Repeat the entire circuit 3 more times, with the remaining feet.

Once you can stand erect again, it's time for the insect repellent exercise. True, with this one, your horse may actually get more of a workout than you do, but you certainly get more of the repellent. It goes like this: Squirt!-circle- circle. Squirt!-circle- circle. Squirt!-circle- circle--- and so on, until you're completely misted with repellent and chanting 'whoa you son of a***** whoa'. To receive maximum benefit from this exercise, make sure you are at the beginning of a deep inhalation during the 'squirt' cycle and exhale after the last chanting 'whoa'.

With the right horse, saddling up provides both aerobic and strength building benefits. The trick is to keep your feet moving as you heft the saddle blanket over and over (and over), trying to keep it in place on a moving target. The blanket exercise warms you up for the saddle exercise, for which the routine is the same, only the weight is much greater -- perfect for buffing those hard-to-tone shoulder muscles.

Now comes the mounting exercise. With the right horse, it's left leg up, hop-hop-hop, left leg down, heavy breathing. Left leg up, hop-hop-hop, left leg down, heavy breathing. For balance, go around to the other side and continue the exercise (right leg up, hop-hop-hop, heavy breathing, right leg down, heavy breathing, etc.).When your heart rate begins to exceed your target range, look for a bucket. Bend over, pick it up, place it upside-down next to the horse, wait for the horse to move away, then bend over, pick it up again, place it next to the horse, and so on. NOTE: this is a cooling down routine not to be confused with the warm up pasture-routine.

When the horse deems you've had enough of these repetitions, he'll stand still and allow you to actually mount. At this point, of course, you'll be too exhausted to ride and your facial mask is dropping off in chunks. It's best not to overdo it, so dismount, grab a glass of wine, and head in to recover in a bubble bath.

Horse Riding Lessons Illinois By Horse Logic

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Horse Playing Soccer !!!!! Hysterical !!!!

Check out this horse playing soccer. It is super cute!!!

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Training Tree:‭ ‬Rhythm and Relaxation

Training Tree:‭ ‬Rhythm and Relaxation

By:‭ ‬Sara McKiness

Every person that handles horses should have a relationship with that horse,‭ ‬which is based on trust.‭ ‬With a relationship based on trust you accomplish a lot more,‭ ‬and it is also easier on both trainer and horse.‭ ‬The more the horse trusts you the more he is willing to do,‭ ‬and also the harder that he tries.‭ ‬With trust as the foundation your horse will also be much more responsive and obedient to what you ask for.

As training progresses you start to move up the training tree.‭ ‬The training tree‭* ‬is a systematic progression in training that is logical for both the horse and rider.‭ ‬The training tree has‭ ‬10‭ ‬steps that allow the training to be understood by both horse‭ ‬and rider.‭ ‬In this article I will go into more detail on the first‭ ‬2‭ ‬steps of the training tree,‭ ‬they are Rhythm and Relaxation.‭ ‬The articles to follow this will also go into more detail on the steps of the training tree.

Rhythm is step‭ ‬1‭ ‬of the training and the foundation for all horse training.‭ ‬This applies to both groundwork and under saddle work.‭ ‬The definition of Rhythm:‭ ‬a regularly repeated pattern,‭ ‬movement,‭ ‬beat or sequence of events.

Rhythm is the first step of the training tree because it is the foundation for all training.‭ ‬The reason for this is rhythm helps to establish trust.‭ ‬When your horse trusts you it makes training easier and quicker.‭ ‬Another reason that rhythm is the first step in the training tree is rhythm helps to show the horse that you are consistent in everything that you do.‭ ‬So you as the handler need to really train yourself to always be rhythmical anytime you are around the horses.‭ ‬This means that your breathing,‭ ‬footfalls,‭ ‬and anything else that you do need to have a consistent rhythm.‭ ‬Horses pay close attention to these details because in the wild it can mean life or death.‭ ‬This is instinctual for all horses and shows how much you need to pay attention to them in order to make it a positive experience for all.

So when you go to your barn and go out to the pasture to get your horse remember to stay very rhythmical and consistent.‭ ‬This will start out the time you spend with your horse positively.

One way you can pay attention to your horse's rhythm is through his breathing.‭ ‬If your horse maintains a consistent rhythm in his breathing than he has rhythm.‭ ‬You must also strive very hard to maintain your own breathing.‭ ‬It is very important to never hold your breath.‭ ‬This will interrupt any rhythm that you might have,‭ ‬and can cause the horse to lose his rhythm.‭ ‬Anytime that your horse‭’‬s breathing is not rhythmical he is worried about something and it is usually something that the handler has caused.‭ ‬ For example you introduce a new piece of equipment such as a saddle pad.‭ ‬This causes your horse‭ ‬to breathe‭ ‬faster‭ ‬and he has lost his‭ ‬rhythm at this‭ ‬point.‭ ‬By introducing the saddle pad in a non‭ ‬rhythmical way you have‭ ‬interrupted‭ ‬the‭ ‬rhythm‭ ‬and thus can‭’‬t proceed further up the training tree.‭ ‬At this point you need to back up a step with the training,‭ ‬and then‭ ‬when you have achieved‭ ‬rhythm once‭ ‬again,‭ ‬you can then reintroduce the saddle pad.‭ ‬Just make sure to go at a‭ ‬slower‭ ‬speed when reintroducing‭ ‬it.‭ ‬One thing to remember is you must keep your rhythmic breathing at all times,‭ ‬even if your horse spooks at something.‭ ‬He will start to figure out that you maintain your breathing and rhythm,‭ ‬which will show him that you are a safe place to be.‭ ‬This is a huge positive reinforcement of your relationship.

Rhythm is easier to maintain on the ground.‭ ‬Many riders will change their breathing as soon as they get in the saddle.‭ ‬This interrupts your rhythm.‭ ‬Remember to keep your breathing rhythmical especially in the saddle.‭ ‬If you have a hard time with your‭ ‬breathing while in the saddle try whistling or humming while riding.‭ ‬This way you can‭’‬t hold your breath.‭ ‬It will get easier every time that you do it.

Here are some things that can help you to maintain your rhythm with your horse:‭ ‬playing a radio in the barn,‭ ‬and using ground poles for walk,‭ ‬trot and canter work.‭ ‬Remember to pay close attention to both your breathing and your horses.‭ ‬This will make a huge difference in both of your training sessions.

Relaxation is step‭ ‬2‭ ‬of the training tree.‭ ‬Relaxation is step‭ ‬2‭ ‬because it follows rhythm very closely.‭ ‬Without rhythm you can‭’‬t have relaxation.‭ ‬In order to get your horse relaxed you must have rhythm.‭ ‬Your horse's breathing tells you whether or not he is relaxed and ear position will tell you what he is paying attention to.‭ ‬It is very important to pay attention to his degree of tenseness.‭ ‬These tell you how relaxed he is and about the mood he is in.

To get relaxation you must be very consistent and rhythmical in everything that you do.‭ ‬Nothing that you do with your horse should cause him any excitement.‭ ‬If it does you need to back the training down a level and accomplish that first,‭ ‬before returning to the next step.‭ ‬All training should be done in the smallest baby steps possible.‭ ‬This means that each step that your progress with your horse should not cause any reactions in him.‭ ‬You do not want‭ ‬any reactions that are caused by fear or nervousness.‭ ‬If you should get any sort of reaction again bring step back with what you are trying to accomplish.‭ ‬Once you have the relaxation again you can go back to what your were trying before the excitement happened.

Please visit my blog and check out new posts about training an untrained horse from the start.

I welcome any suggestions for future articles,‭ ‬or any questions that you would like answered in a future article.

Learn something new every month from‭ ‬Horse Logic.‭ ‬A new article will be featured every month in‭ ‬From the Horse‭’‬s Mouth‭ ‬by:‭ ‬Sara McKiness‭ ‬from‭ ‬Horse Logic.

‭*‬As Taught by Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center

Horse Logic‭ ‬2007

Sara McKiness
Horse‭ ‬Logic
Saint Charles,‭ ‬IL

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