It is the end of August and typically in Michigan this is a very HOT time of year, not just hot but HUMID. Luckily the last week or so has been exceptionally cool. With the cool weather my horses have been extremely sassy and full of themselves which is very cute to watch while they are in the paddock, frolicking around kicking their heels up. What I am not fond of is when I am the person who they decide to inflict their frolicking on while riding. So Miss Heidi Ho, the worst instigator, thought it would be so much fun to be so naughty. I thought to myself, OK stop for a second, straight lines are not helping at this moment and circles are not any better. So my solution, 4 loop serpentine.
The 4 loop serpantine: What a lovely, splendid tool to use. The change of direction helps to keep her supple and less chances to kick up her heels and takeoff or buck. Not only that, but what a great exercise to focus on our balance, throughness during changes of direction, our difficulty with falling out on her heavy left shoulder, and our rhythm.
So to successfully ride this, depending on the rhythm of the horse, Heidi is always too quick and needs to slow her rhythm and extend her legs. Beginning from the bottom x. Heidi is always too quick so a light half-halt before the turn to the left, while using the inside leg to send her to the outside shoulder. This direction Heidi tends to cut-in so emphasis is on the leg out to the shoulder and at times we have to do a step or two of leg yield out so she does not completely cut the corner. One the second curve Heidi really drifts out on her left shoulder so my outside leg is firm and I also will have her take a leg yield step to the right to correct her shoulder here. Then a half-halt to correct the bend as well as stabilize the rhythm.
Repeat x 1,000,000,000
Then I like to throw in there smaller serpentine that consists of 2 or 4 loops or try and get an insane amount of loops just for fun.
Frank my older guy, well he is too smart but this is also very helpful for him in the sense of it focuses his brain versus a balance issue.
Happy riding everyone,