fbpx

2018 Boss Mare Summer Equestrian Challenge

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Welcome to the Boss Mare Summer Challenge!

This challenge is designed to keep you moving forward with the momentum you need for the summer of a lifetime,
breaking through and blazing trails,
not only with your horse,
but with your life!

The spirit of the Boss Mare Summer Equestrian Challenge is to…
challenge ourselves to take control of our goals and dreams,
to empower ourselves to be the best we can be
(in our horsemanship & life),
and therefore empower our horses to be their best
and empower EACH OTHER!

You build strength by repetition,
doing the same things every day,
until they becomes a part of your life.

The Boss Mare Summer Challenge will run June 11th – August 13th

There are 5 Categories to choose from to focus on for this challenge.

This way you can participate and move forward with your goals no matter what obstacles you may be facing.

You choose what categories and challenges you want to work on.

You can work on the same challenge all month or change it up just strive to build your habits. Each week increase the level of difficulty.

Do whatever feels right for you and works for your schedule as well.

The goal is to put in as much time a week total for the Challenge that you can,
and make a habit to not only put your dreams into your schedule
but also, to keep track of and measure your progress.

The Boss Mare Summer Challenge is designed to take advantage of the warm summer days to…

  • reignite your motivation to accomplish your goals and dreams
  • hit the reset button, on mindsets, fears, and wrong thinking that isn’t working for you
  • take care of yourself to become the best you you can be
  • make a new or stronger connection with your horse
  • be prepared to move ahead with a focused plan & blueprint for working with your horse

How The Challenge Works:

Watch the Quick Start Video & determine your milestone summer goals.

Download the Worksheet & Guides below.

Use the Challenge Tracker Worksheet to track your progress.

You can do this…

Do it!!

These are things you do anyway everyday,
so it won’t take much extra time,
and it makes you feel soooo gooooood
to see & feel your progress!

Watch your email…
Sundays (motivation),
Mondays (training classes)
Tuesdays (5 minute horsemanship)
Thursdays (patterns and exercises)
for messages from us to help you along.

Let’s Do This!!!!!

What you will get…

  • weekly horsemanship training (Monday) & optional exercises (Thursday)
  • private facebook group with fellow members of the challenge
  • Challenge Tracker Worksheet
  • Horses-U Summer Horsemanship Guide (to give you ideas of things to work on)

Change is in the air and we are so excited to be a part of this with you!

Use the Challenge Tracker Worksheet &
if you have one, your Live Extraordinary Planner to track everyday how much time you spend working on your choice of activities.

At the end of the challenge you will be given a link to a form to quickly & easily submit your completion results!

The Challenge Champion will be determined like an All Around High Point Award at a horse show, watch this quick video for details…[/text_block]

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Boss Mare Summer Challenge Champion will receive… 

  • a customized Molly’s Silver Belt Buckle
  • and a Custom Designed Trophy from J.E. Barker Woodworking

With additional prizes awarded 2nd-6th place
and weekly prizes![/text_block]

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

The Nitty Gritty Details…

Leader Board will be updated weekly and small prizes awarded to weekly Leader Points will be submitted weekly by challengers on Monday post pinned to the top in Horses-U Practical Solutions For Extraordinary Horsemanship Facebook group- this is totally on the Cowgirl Honor System, honesty is a must… this will be our leader Board, where we can celebrate our wins with each other.

It is not required that you participate in the weekly posts.

We will announce weekly Leaders at our Monday Masterclasses

The challenge can be joined at any point, to be eligible for weekly prizes, BUT you must sign up through the sign up page so we have your information

There are 5 ways to earn points:
● ½ point for each daily blissipline completed (for a possible 4 daily points)
● 1 point for each hour of horse related activity (for a possible 3 daily points) (see challenge details page)
● 1 point for attending each live Monday Masterclass or watching replay (see schedule)
● 1 point for each social media share of challenge (provide screen grab)
● 10 points for each predetermined milestone reached for a possible 50 bonus points!(take a screen shot of this list on your phone when you start challenge)

The last week of the challenge we will post information of how to submit your final points![/text_block]

[op_popup popup_width=”700″ popup_open_effect=”fade” popup_close_effect=”fade” popup_open_speed=”normal” popup_close_speed=”normal” popup_border_color=”#ffffff” popup_border_size=”15″ popup_padding_top=”20″ popup_padding_bottom=”20″ popup_padding_left=”30″ popup_padding_right=”30″ pop_trigger_dontshow=”0″ pop_trigger_time=”0″ pop_exit_intent=”N” pop_dont_show_on_tablet=”N” pop_dont_show_on_mobile=”N” popup_id=”op_popup_id_1486052559512″]

Click Here To See Challenge Details

[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Challenge Details

Click here for a download printable sheet of this same information 

The spirit of the Boss Mare Summer Equestrian Challenge is to challenge ourselves to take control of our goals and dreams, to empower ourselves to be the best we can be (in our horsemanship & life), and therefore empower our horses and EACH OTHER AND have the summer of a lifetime!!

Overview:

Contest begins June 11th, 2018 ends August

Sign-up here

Grand Prize will be awarded to the individual with the most points

(like the All Around Award at the end of show season)

 

Boss Mare Summer Champion will receive…

● Customized Molly’s Silver Belt Buckle (will be ordered when winner is announced so we can customize buckle with your name-takes 4-6 for delivery)
● Custom Designed Trophy from J.E. Barker Woodworking

Prizes will be given to 6th place

Leader Board will be updated weekly and small prizes awarded to weekly Leader

Points will be submitted weekly by challengers on Monday post pinned to the top in Horses-U Practical Solutions For Extraordinary Horsemanship Facebook group- this is totally on the Cowgirl Honor System, honesty is a must… this will be our leader Board, where we can celebrate our wins with each other.

We will announce weekly Leaders at our Monday Masterclasses

The challenge can be joined at any point, to be eligible for weekly prizes, BUT you must sign up through the sign up page so we have your information

There are 5 ways to earn points:
● ½ point for each daily blissipline completed (for a possible 4 daily points)
● 1 point for each hour of horse related activity (for a possible 3 daily points) (see challenge details page)
● 1 point for attending each live Monday Masterclass or watching replay (see schedule)
● 1 point for each social media share of challenge (provide screen grab)
● 10 points for each predetermined milestone reached for a possible 50 bonus points!(take a screen shot of this list on your phone when you start challenge)[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]

[op_liveeditor_elements][/op_liveeditor_elements][/op_popup]

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Step 1

If you have not already,
sign up for Challenge.
Message jenny@horsegirl.me
for sign up link

[/text_block]

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Step 3

Scroll Down and download Summer Equestrian Challenge Worksheet and Materials And Get To It!

 

[/text_block]

[text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Step 4

At the end of the Challenge on August 12th, 2018 at midnight eastern time, you will find a link here to submit your results, we will also email reminders ?

 

[/text_block]

Downloads

[op_popup popup_width=”700″ popup_open_effect=”fade” popup_close_effect=”fade” popup_open_speed=”normal” popup_close_speed=”normal” popup_border_color=”#ffffff” popup_border_size=”15″ popup_padding_top=”20″ popup_padding_bottom=”20″ popup_padding_left=”30″ popup_padding_right=”30″ pop_trigger_dontshow=”0″ pop_trigger_time=”0″ pop_exit_intent=”N” pop_dont_show_on_tablet=”N” pop_dont_show_on_mobile=”N” popup_id=”op_popup_id_1486052559512″]

Category 1:
Strength & Rider Progress

[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Category One: Strength and Rider Progress

Start by rating where you are currently at in this category today. (From 1-10, 1 being the weakest and 10 being the strongest) how would you rate yourself today in strength and the progress you are making as a rider? ___________

 

Challenges to work on daily or weekly for the entire month. Remember you are strengthening your willpower to form good habits.

  • Build Your Body Awareness to Increase Your Balance While Riding.
  • Build your Stamina
  • Do your Barn Work

 

BUILD YOUR BODY AWARENESS TO INCREASE YOUR BALANCE WHILE RIDING

We all want to improve our balance and strength as riders.

This seems to be a never-ending learning process
and a continued goal of riders at all levels and in any discipline.

There are many mounted exercises in the saddle you can do to build
balance,
strength,
coordination,
and improved posture.

But let’s face it…

we do not all have the ability to have someone on the ground to help us,
or always have the time to put into the saddle.

Perhaps you have a horse you are focusing on groundwork with and are not riding yet.

So, here’s a way to strengthen your body awareness with exercises you can do anywhere.

YES! I mean anywhere!

In traffic while you are driving,
while you are walking around at the grocery store,
even doing laundry.

Core strength and body/muscle awareness are the KEY to good posture
and balance when you are riding.

(We all know that, but might not always practice it, right?)

Here are a couple exercises to help you gain more body/muscle awareness as well as help your core and posture for riding…

While Sitting;

In a chair or in your car use this focused time for 5 minutes at a time.

Short spurts help you become aware of the muscle groups you are calling on.

Focus for 5 minutes and then relax.

Then focus for 5 minutes and then relax.

Use this throughout the day or throughout a drive home as many different times as you can.

Start at the bottom….

literally…

sit so you your hip is straight up and down with even pressure on both seat bones.

You do not want a tilt forward nor back in your pelvis
so think of your hip bones pointing straight out ahead of you,
not up or down.
Allow your weight to be on both seat bones evenly.

Next, you will stretch up through the front of body
lift up through your core,
stretching up through every rib and chest up and out.
Shoulders are back in alignment with your hip but relaxed.

Keeping the stretch up in your body tighten through your core or abdominals,
and image allowing your very top rib to come under your chest bone.

Hold for a second then relax and repeat.

Holding the same body position,
tighten your core or abdominal muscles out
and them imagine someone was taking a swing at your stomach
like you were going to absorb the punch
allowing your core muscles to contract inward and tightening.

(As you do these exercises of tighten and release
notice that your seat does not shift and your seat muscles to not tighten.
You are practicing calling on only your core without engaging the seat or hip.)

Next exercise….

Keep your stretch up with chest out,
shoulders relaxed back (no tightness or tension in shoulders)
and shift your seat only.

Tighten the left seat muscle,
then relax,
then tighten the right seat muscle,
then relax.

Do this over and over for a couple minutes.

Make sure your legs and feet are not moving.

(If you are in a chair keep both feet hip width apart and flat on the floor.
If you are driving just be aware that your feet are not shifting nor your legs.)

Now tighten both seat muscles together then relax.

Make sure you are not pulling your hips
just using your seat
and that you do not break at the middle or stomach
you are still lifting and stretching up.

Do you notice when you tighten both seat muscles that one side is tighter or stronger compared to the other?

Work on tightening both sides the same. (This can take some practice)

While Walking;

It is the same concept and idea but you are now standing and walking not sitting on your seat bone.

You want to do focused spurts.

Keep your seat and hip aligned so your hip angle is not tilted forward.

Next you will stretch up through the front of body
lift up through your core,
stretching up through every rib and chest up and out.

Shoulders are back in alignment with your hip but relaxed.

Keep the stretch up in your body,
tighten your core or abdominal muscles
and image allowing your very top rib to come under your chest bone.

Hold for a second then relax and repeat.

Then for a couple seconds holding the same body position
tighten your core or abdominal muscles out and them imagine someone was taking a swing at your stomach
like you were going to absorb the punch allowing your core muscles
to contract inward and tightening.

(As you do these exercises of tighten and release notice that your seat does not shift and your seat muscles to not tighten.
You are practicing calling on only your core without engaging the seat or hip.)

As you walk keep your stretch and straight alignment up through your core and chest and shoulder.

Imagine as if you were pushing forward with your seat and hip not walking with feet first as you walk.

Then relax, re-align and do it again.

I am sure I look odd to those in the grocery store….
but I use focused bursts of body alignment and awareness as I am walking the aisles of the grocery store.

I am multitasking and keeping it fun.

You can go to the next level and be aware of your body
and using your core to tighten and lift or contract as you reach for things.
Keeping the alignment with the hip angle and seat as well.

Have FUN with these exercises!

There is so much we can do to improve our horsemanship even when we are not on our horse.

BUILD YOUR STAMINA – Focus on your physical fitness

Go for a Walk.

Get up, get out, and get moving.

It can even be a walk around the grocery store briskly
or the house if the weather is too frightful outside.

But make sure you get up and get active.

Set your goal for the week and then continue to grow on it throughout this month’s challenge.

This week I want to get up and walk for __________ minutes __________ times per day and __________ times for this week.

Now put this on your schedule in your planner.

Mark this as your goal in your daily schedule but also fill this in for your weekly bliss-iplines and be ready to put your check mark in your planner.

Make sure to track your progress every day,

the entire week,

the entire month,

and then for the entire challenge.

Check back in on this goal for next week and see if you can increase your intention for the week,

but just slightly!

We are setting attainable goals to be able to celebrate the progress and success together!

 

 

LET’S SET OUR STEP GOAL!

If you have a fitbit this will be our own step challenge together….

if you do not have a fitbit that is okay use a step tracker app on your phone,

and time to get to stepping together.

Time to set the goal…..

Make sure you set an attainable goal,

we must be successful to stay motivated.

You can build on today’s goal next week,

and the following week,

and the following week,

for the entire month,

and then the entire challenge.

 

Today my goal is to take __________ steps a day.

You can re-evaluate your steps and challenge yourself daily next week when you put your new goals and bliss-iplines into your planner.

Make sure to track your daily steps in your planner!

USE YOUR BARN WORK FOR PHYSICAL FITNESS

Imagine using all your barn chores as a way to work on your fitness.

If you focus on the action and going slow to be targeted that is just what you can accomplish!

So,

cleaning stalls,

filling shavings,

moving hay,

dumping and scrubbing water buckets,

dumping and scrubbing water troughs,

cleaning out your trailer,

and so much more, is all making you stronger.

Add in some squats, lunges, arm lifts, etc. and turn your entire barn routine into your very own workout program.

Think intervals, so 10 minutes focused then normal routine then 10 minutes focused, then normal routine and go back and forth.

Make it FUN!

This is a great opportunity to incorporate day to day horse life into a FUN and productive strength builder. After all we must be strong to ride.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]

[op_liveeditor_elements][/op_liveeditor_elements][/op_popup]

[op_popup popup_width=”700″ popup_open_effect=”fade” popup_close_effect=”fade” popup_open_speed=”normal” popup_close_speed=”normal” popup_border_color=”#ffffff” popup_border_size=”15″ popup_padding_top=”20″ popup_padding_bottom=”20″ popup_padding_left=”30″ popup_padding_right=”30″ pop_trigger_dontshow=”0″ pop_trigger_time=”0″ pop_exit_intent=”N” pop_dont_show_on_tablet=”N” pop_dont_show_on_mobile=”N” popup_id=”op_popup_id_1486052559512″]

Category 2:
Routines & Time For You

[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Category Two: Routines and Time for You.

Start by rating where you are currently at in this category today. (From 1-10 how would you rate yourself today in making time for yourself? ___________

Challenges to work on daily or weekly for the entire month. Remember you are strengthening your willpower to form good habits.

  • Set your daily bliss-iplines and focus on making sure you spend time for you.
  • Make a date or time for yourself.

SET YOUR BLISS-IPLINES

You must have focused time that you spend on yourself.

This is crucial to your self-care.

You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

The more self-care you spend devoted to yourself the more,

energy,

excitement,

clarity,

and focus you will have for other people around you.

Take a moment and get clear on two – three daily bliss-iplines for your own self-care.

This can be a routine,

a flow to your day,

how you start your day

or end your day.

Make sure you set this up for you and what you want or need for you.

I will spend __________ time everyday working on my bliss-iplines for myself.

A quick note, make the time realistic and attainable to ensure success.

MAKE A DATE WITH YOURSELF

Yes, I said make a date with YOURSELF!

For this month and challenge I want you to make a goal, something fun to do, or a date with yourself. It can be once a week or once every other week.

Some ideas are;

take yourself to lunch,

go to a movie,

pamper yourself in some way,

take yourself out for your favorite coffee,

treat yourself to a frozen yogurt or dessert,

go shopping,

anything you enjoy!

I will commit to take myself to do _____________________ every _______________ for this month’s challenge.

Keep track of what you do and how you feel as you spend time with yourself.

This is YOUR time so leave stress, worry or guilt at home. This is time for you to be quiet with yourself.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]

[op_liveeditor_elements][/op_liveeditor_elements][/op_popup]

[op_popup popup_width=”700″ popup_open_effect=”fade” popup_close_effect=”fade” popup_open_speed=”normal” popup_close_speed=”normal” popup_border_color=”#ffffff” popup_border_size=”15″ popup_padding_top=”20″ popup_padding_bottom=”20″ popup_padding_left=”30″ popup_padding_right=”30″ pop_trigger_dontshow=”0″ pop_trigger_time=”0″ pop_exit_intent=”N” pop_dont_show_on_tablet=”N” pop_dont_show_on_mobile=”N” popup_id=”op_popup_id_1486052559512″]

Category 3:
Education and Learning

[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Category Three: Education and Learning

Start by rating where you are currently in striving and being structured in increasing your education today. (From 1-10 how would you rate yourself today?) ___________

Challenges to work on daily or weekly for the entire month and the entire challenge. Remember you are strengthening your willpower to form good habits.

  • Watch Training Videos
  • Focus on your end goal
  • Read books or articles

Watch Training Videos:

If the weather is to hot outside, we can still keep our focus on our horse goals for the summer.

We don’t have to have a loss of momentum or progress just because of the weather.

Take a moment and make a list of a couple of your goals with your horse.

________________________________  ________________________________

________________________________  ________________________________

Now what skills, maneuvers, knowledge do you need to gain to help you reach your goal? Or what will you and your horse need to be doing together? (Specific maneuvers, skill set, etc.)

____________________________________ ____________________________________

____________________________________ ____________________________________

Take advantage of the summer weather, use it to your utmost progress.

When life is busy and you are out working sometimes it is hard to find the time for higher learning and skill development.

Consider the summer time, your time for education and research.

List some specific topics, maneuvers, skills, class specifics, etc. you can research and watch videos on to improve your knowledge, education and skills.

______________________________________ ___________________________________

______________________________________ ___________________________________

You can also ask professionals or others who are working in your goal area what they would recommend as educational to help you progress.

This week I will devote ___________________ hours per _________________ to my continuing education.

SCHEDULE IT! Put it in your planner as an appointment and schedule the time to sit down and learn.

Focus On Your End Goal:

For this challenge, instead of focusing on learning more education, I want you to focus on your inspiration.

The motivation, and feeling that “awe” of being inspired to try is also a fuel you must keep on full in the tank.

What is your end goal with you and your horse? ________________________________

(For an example I want to do a bridleless freestyle western dressage performance. That is one of my ultimate lifetime goals.)

What can you search to show you examples of what you are striving for to feel moved and inspired? __________________________________________

(Example: I will search freestyle dressage as well as bridleless freestyle. I might even search play. The videos that come up are where I find my inspiration and motivation. The awe…. I want to do that, or it could look like that.)

I will spend __________________ time, every ___________________ for this week focused on the end goal.

Keep notes not only on the time you spend but also the things you find along the way.

Make notes of a video address, what you like and what you don’t want to incorporate as you work on building your final goal.

This is fun, and enjoy the time you spend on this challenge.

READ, READ and READ

There are so many horse magazines,

blog sites,

and authors today that you can access quickly and easily with today’s technology.

Who, or what subject aligns with what your focus is for you and your horse? (Make a list below.)

_____________________________________________

_____________________________________________

_____________________________________________

Make sure to keep adding to this list as you go, so I suggest putting it in your Monthly Master in your planner.

That way it is there, easy to add onto, and always accessible for the entire year.

Take this summer time to read, read, and read some more.

Read articles in horse magazines that pertain and align with your goal or focus with your horse.

Read some books, even fun fiction to inspire you with a story of triumph.

I will read ___________________ mins/hours every _____________________ this week.

Keep your tracking in your planner but keep adding you’re your master list for the entire challenge as you go.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]

[op_liveeditor_elements][/op_liveeditor_elements][/op_popup]

[op_popup popup_width=”700″ popup_open_effect=”fade” popup_close_effect=”fade” popup_open_speed=”normal” popup_close_speed=”normal” popup_border_color=”#ffffff” popup_border_size=”15″ popup_padding_top=”20″ popup_padding_bottom=”20″ popup_padding_left=”30″ popup_padding_right=”30″ pop_trigger_dontshow=”0″ pop_trigger_time=”0″ pop_exit_intent=”N” pop_dont_show_on_tablet=”N” pop_dont_show_on_mobile=”N” popup_id=”op_popup_id_1486052559512″]

Category 4:
Bond & Build Horsemanship Skills

[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Category Four: Time Building Your Relationship & Horsemanship Skills

Start by rating where you are currently at in this category, spending actual time improving your relationship with your horse and your horsemanship today. (From 1-10 how would you rate yourself today?) ___________

Challenges to work on daily or weekly for the entire month. Remember you are strengthening your repetition muscle to form good habits.

  • The Grooming Challenge
  • Take A Walk Challenge
  • Just BE Challenge

THE GROOMING CHALLENGE

You can use every aspect of your time spent with your horse to deepen your relationship, and build your partnership.

Put intention behind everything you do and anytime you are with your horse.

The grooming challenge gives you a way to focus, be present and put the intention into your grooming to pay attention and hear your horse.

You can spend 5 minutes or 45 minutes grooming and spending time with your horse. The length of time is up to you, but the intention needs to be the same.

See VIDEO OF GROOMING CHALLENGE – https://youtu.be/WhdMf5Ns964

Make sure to keep track in your planner of how much time you spend on the grooming challenge.

You can do this challenge as much as you would like to, it is not a one time thing to do but something to continuously focus on.

TAKE A WALK CHALLENGE

It can be hard to spend time working with your horse when the summer heat and weather is going strong.

A great way to spend time getting to know your horse and strengthening your relationship is to go for a walk together.

Set the intention to be 100 percent present and in the moment with your horse.

Notice how they look at things, what they look at, the speed they enjoy walking the most, etc.

This is your time to listen and deepen your understanding of your horse.

Make it fun, and again you can do this challenge over and over again.

See VIDEO OF TAKE A WALK CHALLENGE – https://youtu.be/6KXeA7KFqHA

Make sure to keep track of your time spent in your planner.

JUST BE CHALLENGE

There is no better time to just BE with your horse, build your relationship and spend time together asking for nothing!

Think of it as spending time with a new friend. You spend time just being together and learning about each other. Think of it in the same way with your horse.

You are building your relationship by just being in each other’s presence and learning more about your partner.

Wu Wei is an ancient Chinese practice that when translated literally means “non-doing.”

This important concept means natural action,

or in other words, action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort.

To practice Wu Wei with your horse you will think of doing nothing.

Yes, I said doing nothing.

No agenda, no plan, asking or teaching nothing.

You will enjoy just spending time together doing nothing.

You can give your horse some hay and then sit down adjacent to them, not in their hay pile as you are not forcing connection.

If it is not safe to sit then stand adjacent to your horse.

Watch and just notice your horse.

How do they eat, hear the chewing of their hay.

Spend 10 – 15 minutes with your horse just doing nothing but being together.

This can be powerful when you begin doing this every time you see your horse.

See JUST BE VIDEO – https://youtu.be/4OcHOV07E-A

You can take as much time as you would like to be present, and in the moment of being with your horse.

Notice how your horse responds, their actions and what they are doing as you spend time just being together.

I like to practice doing this with all my horses as much as possible.

I use this when I get a new horse in to build our partnership.

Every time I see them for the first week I spend time just being with them.

Then on week two I progress to spending the first 10-15 minutes when I see them just being.

Then we go to work with each other.

I want a new horse to understand I am listening to them, and we can be with each other just as they would a new horse introduced into the herd.

Make sure to track your time doing Wu Wei for the week, the month, and the challenge.[/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]

[op_liveeditor_elements][/op_liveeditor_elements][/op_popup]

[op_popup popup_width=”700″ popup_open_effect=”fade” popup_close_effect=”fade” popup_open_speed=”normal” popup_close_speed=”normal” popup_border_color=”#ffffff” popup_border_size=”15″ popup_padding_top=”20″ popup_padding_bottom=”20″ popup_padding_left=”30″ popup_padding_right=”30″ pop_trigger_dontshow=”0″ pop_trigger_time=”0″ pop_exit_intent=”N” pop_dont_show_on_tablet=”N” pop_dont_show_on_mobile=”N” popup_id=”op_popup_id_1486052559512″]

Category 5:
Wet Saddle Blankets…
Go Ride!

[op_liveeditor_element data-style=””][text_block style=”style_1.png” align=”left”]

Category Four: Time Building Your Horsemanship Skills

Start by rating where you are currently at in this category, spending actual time improving your relationship with your horse and your horsemanship today. (From 1-10 how would you rate yourself today?) ___________

 

Challenges to work on daily or weekly for the entire month. Remember you are strengthening your repetition muscle to form good habits.

  • Groundwork Challenges
  • Riding Challenges

THE GROUNDWORK CHALLENGES;

THE LEADING CHALLENGE

I call this the back and forth game a lot.

When you can think of making your training together a game and fun it seems to change the energy of your exercises together.

This challenge can be used in so many ways.

You can spend a couple minutes while turning out or bringing in your horse.

You can do this in the aisle way of the barn, or in the arena. This makes it the perfect hot summer exercise.

I like to walk forward with my horse, asking them to stay next to me.

When I stop they stop and then we back up and then go forward, stop and back up.

Do the movements slow and with soft energy!

You do not want to be fast, sharp and aggressive with your cues.

Imagine that your goal is to do the most subtle and softest cue or movement to get your horse to respond.

I like to use my shoulders to cue my horse, so that is the ultimate goal I am going for.

To back, I want my horse to back of my body shift back, or just a movement of a finger asking them to back up.

LEADING CHALLENGE VIDEO – https://youtu.be/XHlSK8OSRPs

You can up your game to advanced back and forth exercise once you have mastered going slow and quiet together.

I then incorporate asking for a head down cue with my horse before we walk forward and as we are walking so my horses head is always just below my shoulder in height.

You can also grow to doing the back and forth game completely off line and free in an arena or pasture. (The come cue works into this great as well so look to that challenge as well to build into this challenge.)

THE RELAX CUE:

(EVERY HORSE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS!)

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this exercise as to how powerful it is as a training foundation for your horse.

First, the practical reasons why this works, think about it,
when a horse is grazing they are relaxed and when they go on high alert their head comes up.

We are going to use the horse’s natural instinct to teach her (or him) to relax & use the thinking side of her brain,

by giving her a signal to drop her head.

In the Horses-U Riding Academy it is called The Relax Cue.

It’s easy to teach and it is a GREAT confidence builder for both you and your horse.
Again! Don’t skip this because it sounds so easy, it really and truly works,
and you will find yourself using it all the time.

Let’s get started…

Step 1: Teach your horse to stop and stand when leading.

Step 2: Stand on the leading side of your horse.

Grab just below the buckle of the lead rope and apply a soft downward hold.

You are applying a soft pressure until your horse gives at all and then you release.

The softer your horse gets doing this exercise the less pressure you will use and the more drop you will get in your horse.

If you have a horse who is not giving to light downward pressure, keep the consistent pressure and add a soft left to right to slowly and softly move their head to relax their pole and help them to relax and drop.

Step 3: Now that your horse had learned the cue and how to stay relaxed, so their head is lower then their withers and they are stretching down consistently you can add this cue to your training to trigger your horse to relax.

Always start on the ground first.

You can lead your horse and ask for a relax and stretch down.

Anytime your horse raises their head to worry while you are working together, pause, ask for the relax and then take pressure off and continue.

You can incorporate this into anything you are doing with your horse and working on. At any time of your horse gets tense or worried ask them to relax.

Continue the relax cue through your desensitizing as well but, make sure to start with the initial relax cue and work on that before you move up to anything else.

Link to Video – https://youtu.be/q8iMUIN4yU8

 

PERFECT YOUR WHOA

You need a WHOA on your horse for safety of yourself as well as your horse.

Think of Whoa as your emergency break in your car. When you pull your emergency brake it is a stop now cue. That is your whoa.

Whoa is stop now and wait.

Start with your leading exercise to create a whoa foundation.

When you say Whoa you want your horse to stop right away.

If you say Whoa and your horse continues to move forward apply pressure with your halter and then back up a couple steps off of the pressure.

Settle, and then move forward and whoa again.

Your goal is when you say whoa your horse stops with no pressure from a leadline or halter.

Once you have the whoa cue while leading then it is time to master the whoa on your lunge line.

You ask your horse to move out at the walk and then whoa on the line.

If your horse keeps walking step to block your horse with a couple steps and apply pressure on the halter with your line.

You can even use your stick or whip in front of your horse as you apply pressure to have a visual barrier for the whoa cue as well.

Practice this over and over until every time you say whoa your horse stops and does not move.

Now progress to the trot and master that gait.

Then move to the canter or lope and master the whoa at that gait. Make sure you do this at each gait both directions.

Now you can have fun and try the whoa free in the roundpen.

You can step out to block your horse if you need to but all the groundwork you just put into your whoa should show when you ask your horse while they are free to whoa.

Keep playing with this and build on it.

I had an experience I must share with you from the other day.

It had rained for days and days and all the horses had been in their stalls.

It was their first day to be turned out in three days, and since it was still so wet the only area dry enough for turnout was the small arena.

The sand footing was safe for turnout.

My two geldings go out together so they were turned out with some hay in the arena.

They were munching away quietly so I decided to put the pony out with them as well so he could go out.

Now keep in mind all three of them have been out together and know each other.

The minute I let the pony off the lead he took off, tail up, snorting, bucking, running and being a small maniac.

That got my two horses up and off the three went running like crazies around the arena.

I walked out into the arena and as my two geldings came down to the end of the arena I pointed at them and took a couple steps to block them from taking off to the other end and very firmly told them both Whoa.

Both my geldings stopped and looked at me, neither moved just stood with their head up watching the crazy pony run.

As the crazy pony came full speed bucking back towards us I told my two geldings Whoa and had my hand up….to my surprise the pony went running around one, between them both and then back out from behind my gelding….at full speed!

My two boys never moved.

They stood there, fixated on me and my whoa cue.

It took me 5 minutes to catch the little monster and get him out of the arena, but the entire 5 minutes my two geldings stood on Whoa like statues and waited for me to give them the okay they good move.

It was like a stay cue for a dog is all I can equivalate it to.

The whoa cue came in handy to keep my two geldings from getting hurt, and it also showed me that I could trust no matter what was happening that we had an understanding together of working together.

You can never work on your whoa cue enough.

I check my whoa every time I get my horses out.

Just to check in and make sure we are together and on the same page.

Keep your time logged in your planner for your whoa work this week and the challenge.

 

COME CUE CHALLENGE

I like my horses to have a “come cue” just as you teach a dog to come you can teach your horse the same thing.

I usually start teaching the come cue in a roundpen or on a line.

I whoa my horse and have them facing me standing still.

I then drop my shoulders and back as if I was pulling my bellybutton all the way into my body, allowing my back to round, my shoulders to drop and I use a low hand movement as a gestor to come forward.

I use a low whistle or kiss as well. I prefer whistle but that is up to you.

I take steps backwards as I ask my horse to come forward to me.

I then stop and straighten up with a whoa so my horse stops.

We then do the come cue again.

I do this back and forth and change the distance from each other.

I then work up to having them going around the roundpen or out on the line and use my come cue and ask them to come into me.

Play with this….

BUT make sure you have safe boundaries in place first and your horse respects your stop and whoa cue when you ask.

Always stay safe!!

You can then work to free in an arena or the pasture.

I love to play with this come cue with my guy.

I can call him back into me from anywhere and while he is doing anything.

I like to play red light, green light with my horse in the arena by putting the back and forth game, the whoa and the come cue altogether to make one fun game.

I ask my horse to come forward from across the arena with the come cue (green light)
I then ask my horse to stop and wait (whoa cue) if they push forward I use the back cue to push them back.

It is like a big game of red light/green light with horse.

Play with how far across the arena you can achieve this with your horse. My ultimate goal is to be able to be on the far opposite side of the arena with my horse and play this game together.

Keep track of your time in your planner…don’t forget!

MOVING WITH ENERGY

Moving with energy is the focus on how you get the result you are asking for.

The goal is to use the least amount of pressure or energy as possible to get the desired result. (This principle is CRUCIAL when working with the high sensitive horse.)

Watch the moving with energy video below.

See MOVING WITH ENERGY VIDEO –  https://youtu.be/XHlSK8OSRPs

Spend as much time with this exercise as you want to. You cannot overdo this exercise. You are building your relationship, feel and getting more and more in tune together with every minute.

Don’t forget to keep this time spent marked down in your planner!

 

 

 

RIDING CHALLENGES

This is the Summer Challenge so due to the hot summer weather the Riding Challenges can be 10 minutes to 1 hour and anywhere in between.

For me, personally, in the summer I do less strenuous activity and do more basic activity but to keep my horse supple, soft and tuned up.

I might do a 20-30 minute walk routine on really hot days to keep bending, the body soft and my forward and whoa cues tuned up. Adjust your routine in the challenges to work with your weather conditions and your horse’s needs.

Below you will find some of our Riding Challenges but also every Thursday we will share a new Riding Challenge in the Facebook Group. Each week you will have a new set of challenges to work on as an added push for the Challenge.

THE WALKING AND WHOA CHALLENGE

Use this exercise as a focused exercise tuning into every step you get.

This exercise is about being tuned in and getting exactly the result you are asking for.

I use this exercise to make sure I have the forward off my leg response as well as the stop response I want in my horse.

Begin by asking your horse to halt.

You can use the verbal “Whoa” cue or ask with your body for a halt.

You want to halt your horse off your core.

When you tighten your core, and close your knees against your saddle with a stretch up through your chest and shoulder your horse should halt underneath you.

You can use either cue or combine them together.

It depends on your discipline.

For the reining and ranch horse when you push your lower leg forward and more weight in your stirrup your horse should stop.

Adjust your ask based on what you are working with your horse on.

Be aware of how many steps it takes your horse to stop, do you have to apply rein pressure, etc.

Really use this exercise to be aware of every part of your horses body and any resistance you feel.

If you need to ask your horse to halt with applying rein pressure softly back your horse off of your rein a couple steps.

Stand quietly and then go back to the exercise.

When you ask your horse to move forward what result do you want?

Do you want your horse to walk off slowly, what speed and engagement do you want your horse to have?

For me, when I ask my horse to walk off I want a push from behind and an engaged hind end driving them forward from their hind end.

I want an immediate response and my horse’s first step to be the same drive as the 10th step.

I do not want to have to push my horse into the forward walk for multiple steps, I want them to start there.

So, I tighten my seat slightly, engage my hip to encourage a forward moving step and squeeze my horse forward with both calves while asking for forward with my seat and hip.

Once my horse pushes off forward I relax and allow my seat and hip to follow my horse’s movement.

You can adjust the amount of forward your horse gives you by the amount of forward you ask for. Less forward means less seat and less calf pressure.

My rule is when my calf squeezes for forward my horse responds right then, in that moment and we move happily forward into our walk.

I don’t want to have to nag, or continue to ask my horse. If my horse does not strike out forward immediately I add an overexaggerated push with my seat and tight hip to electrify my horse forward and I add more squeeze pressure with both calves.

I imagine squeezing my horse forward out from under me as if I was riding a tube of toothpaste.

Again, adjust the level of response and forward by decreasing the ask, but when you ask you want the response then.

Then walk and ask for your halt again. So you Whoa.

Then ask for your walk off, then halt.

You can do this over and over until you are getting the step forward and the halt you are asking for.

Remember the idea of this going back to basic exercise is to work on the transition itself and strive for exactly what you are asking for.

You are working on increasing your level of responsiveness in your horse and achieving the exact forward and halt you want. Ride to create the exact response you want.

You can do this in 10 minutes or 45 minutes it depends on where you and your horse are together, and for the day.

Track how your horse responds, how you start, how you end and everything in between for the ride.

Also, don’t forget to track the time you spend in your planner.

THE SPIRAL CHALLENGE

This is one of my favorite exercises. You can vary the gait and the time you spend on this exercise.

I start at the walk, then once we can do that I go to the jog/trot and then up to the lope/canter.

The goal of this exercise is a couple things;

  1. Keeping your horse on your outside rein
  2. Keeping a bend in your horse’s body through the inside leg and support with the outside rein.
  3. Responsiveness of your horse moving off of your body and outside thigh and calf and then responsiveness of moving off your inside leg.
  4. Be aware of your body and your horse’s body under you through this exercise.
  5. Build balance for your horse to engage the hind end use their hocks correctly.

Start with about a 20 meter circle, or about a half ring circle (depending on the size of your ring) for a very large arena do a 1/3 of the ring circle.

Start with riding your circle with your horse on your outside rein.

So that means you have soft, steady pressure in your outside rein.

You have your inside leg on your horse and you and your horse are both riding the arch of the circle.

Your inside shoulder is back and your body is riding the arch of the circle.

The bend in your horse’s body should mimic the arch of the circle as well.

(A quick note, the smaller the circle the more bend in your horse’s body as well as the degree of inside shoulder back and outside hip forward in your body. You both should be riding the imaginary line of the circle with the correct arch in your bodies to match the track of the circle.)

As you are riding your large circle start to look into the inside of your circle more with your eyes and your chin.

Allow your shoulder to open more and your outside hip to adjust to change the track to a smaller circle.

Close your outside thigh against your saddle and allow your outside calf to close and rest softly against your horse.

Now as you do your spiral you want to each circle you make slowly come in one track smaller.

So it is a gradually spiral you are not going to drop into a small circle but slowly circle down one size smaller circle each loop.

As you spiral down you want to feel your horse in your outside rein and wrapping around your inside leg so they are breaking their ribcage.

Keep in mind you do not want to feel your horse drop to the inside, get heavy on their inside shoulder, or get heavy in your inside rein.

If you horse starts to fall in close your inside heel (as your inside calf is closed for this entire exercise to keep your horse up and around your inside leg) and close your inside knee and thigh as if to lift your horse up and back over to the outside with your upper leg.

The goal is to spiral down to a 5 or 10 meter circle while having the same feel in your horses body at every step of every circle.

So, as the circle spirals smaller you will have to apply outside leg to keep your horses drive forward and engagement on the hind end.

You will also have to adjust the pressure of the inside calf, heel, knee and thigh to maintain the balance and your horses balance into the outside of their body and remain soft on the inside of their body.

Now, you will slowly spiral back out of the circle one circle at a time going slowly larger each time.

You will slowly spiral back out to your 20 meter or half ring circle. You will remain inside calf in and outside rein balance.

You want your outside rein to stay constant and steady so your horse is comfortable standing into the outside rein as they bend to the inside of the circle through the inside leg to break at the ribcage and have a soft bend to the inside for the entire spiral out.

Remove the outside leg to open the outside of the horses body to allow them to spiral back out. Note, do not let them loose the bend to the inside so that they are soft off of the inside rein and bending through the ribcage off of the inside leg. You will allow the outside leg, hip and calf to soften and give your horse the space to move out now.

The ultimate goal of this exercise is to be able to hold the same consistent bend, same pressure on the outside rein, and same footfall or step up from your horse from behind through this entire exercise.

So, nothing changes but the circle itself. That is the ultimate goal you are striving for. Once you can do it successfully at one gait move to the next and so on. If you get stuck or encounter resistance go back to the previous gait and work on softness to the inside and balance on the outside of the body.

You can do this once a ride or an entire ride. Keep a log or write in your planner the accomplishments, what you worked on and any weaknesses or resistance that came up with this exercise.

Make sure you track how much time you spend on this ride and challenge as well. We can’t forget it is a challenge to track the time we spend.

SET AN ATTAINABLE GOAL FOR RIDING

This is crucially important as we talk about hot Summer Riding.

You must set a goal that is attainable so as you track your work and time you spend it feel successful. We don’t want to set ourselves up for frustration…….we want to set ourselves up for success.

If you know you have a really hot week or month don’t set a goal of riding 1 hour 6 days a week. Set a goal of riding 3-4 hours that week. Make it attainable so you feel good when you reach it and feel the forward progress.

For this challenge I want you to set a goal for your riding for this challenge.

It can be as simple as walk on my horse three times a week. It can be a challenging as perfecting my flying lead change or spin. You decide what your goal for your riding is for the month and break it down by the week.

Write this goal out here;

My riding goal for this challenge is:_______________________________

I will need to ride _______________________ per ____________________ for this month.

I want to focus each ride on ____________________________________________

When I reach my goal at the end of this challenge I will have gone from ____________________________________ to ____________________________ and it will feel ___________________________________________

Now you have your challenge goal for your riding. Keep this written in your planner in your Monthly Master To Do page June, July and the beginning of August.

Now break down your goal to your weekly W.I.N lasso section. What is your weekly focus on per ride, and what is the amount of time you are going to spend.

Last, keep track in your planner every day of what you do and how much time you spend doing it.

There is no right or wrong, and if one day you spend an hour and one day you don’t spend any time it is okay.

Don’t give up on your challenge!!!

Keep going, start again each day, and do not beat yourself up. You must encourage yourself on this challenge and do not talk down to yourself.

You can do this!

Good luck for the month and see you at the end of the Challenge.

The goal of this Summer Equestrian Challenge is to take the steps to continue working towards your goals with your horse and on yourself.

Make it fun, make your challenges and goals attainable so you can celebrate the success!!

Track your time you spend on each Category throughout the day and week and share with us all at the end of every week.

Let’s keep each other motivated and work together to kick Summers butt these couple months![/text_block][/op_liveeditor_element]

[op_liveeditor_elements][/op_liveeditor_elements][/op_popup]