We know Your Horse readers are busy people with jobs to do, children to feed as well as horses to ride. Here Spencer Wilton sets out a time frame to ensure that you can fit your schooling session neatly into 35 minutes!

Five minute walk

The most important thing to remember in winter is that if your horse has been out at grass in the cold weather, or stuck in his stable all day, it’s really important to do at least five minutes of walking before you get going. If you’re short of time this can be difficult but it’s really important to ensure your horse is given this time in walk to loosen up.

Five minute warm up

I like to follow a fairly set pattern when I begin my warm up:

  • In trot, go large and ride
    a circuit of the school or schooling area once on each rein. Allow your horse to stretch down and round
  • Ride a couple of large circles on both reins in trot
  • Go large again and move forward to canter, riding one circuit of the school
    on each rein
  • Stay in canter and ride a couple more large circles on both reins
  • To complete the warm up, come back to walk and allow your horse to walk, nice and relaxed, on a long rein

15 minutes of exercises

It might not seem like a lot but plan which exercises you want to use from day to day and this 15-minute slot can be used to its
full potential

Five minute wind down

Using similar shapes to those you rode in your warm up, work in trot and give your horse a chance
to relax and wind down. Stay in an underpowered trot, especially if your horse has become tense during the session

Five minute walk

With your exercises and wind down complete, let your horse stretch in walk before you finish