In my last blog post I mentioned that both boys had recently been feeling a bit blerghy for two weeks and it was making me feel quite bad. I've also had several people ask me about my competition schedule I was also freaking out about needing to go and compete until I realised that I have no rush to get competing until the boys and I feel ready. But then the following day both boys were fantastic! I think this maybe due to the fact I had been worrying so much about this until I wrote it down in the blogpost and having verbalised it, I then felt determined to figure out how to fix it.
With Basse the main thing has been to concentrate on giving him lots of variety: long rides, shorter rides, plenty of days off, lunging and pole work. By doing something different everyday, he seems a lot more content and willing to do better work and he is a lot happier if he gets 3 days off a week! This just means that every time I ride him I have to make sure we work hard even if it is just a short ride. For example, yesterday although he was only ridden for a maximum 30 minutes but because I worked on his fitness (cantering around the arena in a light seat wooooo!) he was still tired and sweaty afterwards 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼
|Look at my boy!! So pleased with how he looks|
Vallu is the total opposite, he needs consistency and doesn't appreciate being given too many days off. About a month ago when his leg swelled up after being a prat in his paddock, he then had a week off after which he was just generally horrible/sticky/uncooperative to ride. After two weeks of regular work he's now been fantastic to ride and I believe it's because his week looks something like this: Monday ridden, Tuesday day off, Wednesday lunge, Thursday and Friday ridden (one easy ride with pole work) and then over the weekend one day is another day off and the other day he gets lunged again but this time over jumps/poles. The 2 days off gives his legs enough time to rest and he gets to chill and be a horse as he's out all day no matter what the weather is like. Although I was reluctant to give him 2 days off, it works for him and sometimes I just need to listen to the horses more to understand what they want.
All of this has taught me that we don't have to be perfect everyday for riding to feel wonderful. Not every ride needs to be the perfect training session and some days just cantering over a single pole can be a wonderful achievement. It is more than okay to not be perfect all the time because life with horses will still be wonderful even if we are not perfect.
What do you do with your horse(s) to keep them and yourself happy?