Monday, September 26, 2022

taking a page out of Ingrid's book

It's Grid Pro Quo time again! Last time, we looked at a cavalletti exercise authored by Ryan Wood, and this week we tried a new configuration by Ingrid Klimke! 

i kinda doubt we'll actually attempt ALL of these exercises.... but who knows, we'll see!
If we learn one thing from this book, it'll be how to better visualize, anticipate and.... adapt the concepts and setups to fit our needs etc. Bc.... Not gonna lie, this particular attempt was kinda a fail. 

Ingrid designed a line of three cavalletti set at angles. Sure... Superficially, the exercise looks simple and straight forward enough, plus also looks super versatile in terms of picking your lines and patterns through the various poles. 
sticking with the theme of "keeping it simple, stupid!"
It's basically a serpentine -- but could also be ridden as two separate circles (just catching two poles at a time), or also as a straight line (hitting each pole on an angle). 

I figured I'd mostly focus on the latter ideas, since Ingrid's idea for the serpentine was to use each cavalletti to prompt a lead change. Which... Eh, is a little above our paygrade at this point.

instructions called for cavalletti or small jumps, but, eh, ground poles were fine
The "fail" part came in realizing, after I'd set it up and gotten on, that the idea of riding each half of the serpentine as part of its own circle meant my circles would be half the width of our dressage court, since I set it up on center line. So.... canter circles about 15m. Which was a liiiiiitle smaller than I'd had in mind. 

you can see how setting this up on the diagonal (red box) allows for bigger circles than when the same exercise is set up on the center line (gray box)
If we do it again, maybe I'll try to set it up on a diagonal line so there's more room for a circle on each end of the serpentine? Or maybe I'll just set up each separate line of two poles (one at 33', the other at 44') on each quarterline? 

I actually liked the distances a lot, and could see value of just working on those sized circles off both leads. Putting the whole serpentine together for us was a little iffy just bc of the necessary lead change lol.... Anyway, the 33' section wanted 3 bending strides, and the 44' section wanted 4 bending strides. 

since the dressage ring was kinda a fail, we got our footwork patterns in with this fun little pinwheel setup
Luckily, after kinda not really getting what I wanted from that ride, our next session found us up in the jump ring where some interesting pattern-ish kinda stuff looked promising. Specifically -- see the little orange and white x-rail in the top right corner? 

There was another one around the bend immediately to the right out of frame -- making for a perfect bending line that usually came up in 5 or 6, and was kinda maybe the same-ish ideas that we had intended to practice with the Ingrid exercise. 

trainer P had set up a line of short ones too, and yes that standard snapped in half, womp. jumped it exactly as it is anyway
So I did a couple sessions off each lead, circling through, trying to get consistent, then adding in the little pinwheel set of jumps. One circuit all left leads (jump, land, loop around left, jump the next, land, loop around left, jump the next, etc etc etc), then repeated the whole thing off the right. 

Finally, when we felt like we were clicking right on along, I took a couple passes down the above grid off each lead. It's very short distances -- probably about 18' -- so maybe will help Charlie get a little snappier? 

random barrels were fun too! 
Idk lol, it was what was set up, and I didn't feel like getting off to change or move anything. So we made it work, and it was fun! 

Charlie can get a little lazy about small jumps, and I can get complacent.... So trying to do more of these cavallettti type exercises will hopefully be good practice for staying focused on the execution even when it's not like... big or scary lol.

visiting with the shetland council
I swear, tho, there is more to that Grid Pro Quo book than ground poles set on a straight line --- and we'll definitely get to some of that eventually too! 

For now, it's just nice having that book in my locker to help give me a sense of purpose and inspiration for our rides where we might otherwise kinda just dink around getting our reps in lol. 

all done! 
In the meantime, there's a couple weeks until our next planned outing so it's a good time to just play around lol. Anyone else experimenting with new and interesting exercises??


  1. Fun! We did something similar in my jump lesson this week, too. Sort of a serpentine of 2 ground poles to a small vertical. We started on a circle with one pole, then added the jump, then went through in opposite direction with all 3. It kept Eli entertained, he seems to like to figure out the game. And it kept me focused, since we changed the pattern each time I had to let Eli know we were going where I wanted to, and not where he thought we were. Super simple set up, lots of options, good brain work for all!

    1. good brain work is my fave <3 <3 <3 for real tho, one of the biggest things i need to work on with setting this stuff up is... being more purposeful when i actually go to ride it. like... riding AS IF ingrid was there watching / coaching me, vs sorta just flinging ourselves thru it.... details details lol

  2. I'm going to have to break down and buy that book - it looks so good.

    1. it's a good book, tho i can already tell there's a lot of stuff in there that realistically i'm not really likely to EVER set up. but still nice to browse thru and see what the experts are writing about the hows and whys of their exercises. if you're still on the fence tho and wanna wait to buy, lmk if there's a particular expert you see on the list in that index above and i can maybe grab some pics of those particular examples

    2. What a kind offer. Ingrid is my hero basically so once I saw her name in there it tipped the balance and I ordered it!

  3. We lesson over cavaletti fairly regularly (sometimes weekly!) and I'm fairly regularly offended by how hard it is. We definitely haven't graduated past poles on a straight line, just trying to dial in the consistency there is a major struggle for us! Fingers crossed I have the will to set up and then just walk over more cavaletti this winter, to try and dial them in even more.

  4. Seems like a really useful book of exercises! I should make some plans like these for once a week or so. This time of year I lose focus just trying to survive the wild rides... But having something like these exercises to force focus might be really helpful. Thanks for sharing!


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