Jump Starting your Riding Season
Spring is here, now what?
For those who are not competition motivated, or who have to address “obvious” advancement with their horse, such as working with a baby and teaching them ground manners, I find often find pleasure horse owners reach a plateau with their equine partner, and often lack a direction, which in turn can create patternized routines and rides, lack of motivation, lace of mental presence from human towards their horse.
Up here in the pacific northwest, many horse owners are lucky enough to keep their horses at home, and have the opportunity to “just ride” whenever; though the ease of accessibility is awesome, it can often become a “lonely” experience without another equine enthusiast to share ideas, thoughts or experiences with.
Of course then there are sometimes the horror stories of folks trying to expand their equine associated friends, but large groups of all levels and mentalities in varies levels of dangerous scenarios can often turn someone off from participating in group gatherings.
So what can you do? Here are a few ideas…
1.) Every two weeks “add” one small new concept, idea, or thought to YOUR knowledge base regarding any equine related. This can be read, watched, heard. You don’t have to either “totally get it, understand it or want to use it.” But it will be something new to think about. It often can take a long time of “mulling something over” before you can have an opinion about it.
In this day and age media allows us a lot of opportunity to see, hear and read things we would have never had access to in the past. Take advantage of it. Even if you just sit back and watch all of the amateur horse lover videos on YouTube, audit a local competition or other horse related gathering.
2.) Go take a lesson or audit a lesson. Even the “top” horse people in the world take lessons or continue to expand their knowledge through learning from others. Lessons often can be associated with “having a problem,” but really they may just be a way to get another person’s assessment of “where” you and your horse are at, with some ideas and suggestions for future improvement. To get the “most” for your money, if you can find someone to video you (to film in close proximity to the instructor so you can hear what they are saying), you’ll be able to watch the video in the future, and some of the things you may have missed while riding, you might be able to address after watching yourself in the lesson and reminded of the instruction offered.
3.) Find a riding buddy. I don’t mean someone who you will brainlessly gossip with when you ride out on the trail, but rather someone with similar horse related interests who might share and/or motivate you. There are always notice boards at the local feed store, and often online there are plenty of websites (horse and non horse related) where people can freely advertise or search for other people with the same similar interest. It might take a little time, you may have some “misses” but eventually you’ll find at least one person who you can share you appreciation for the sport with.
I was reminded yet again just a week ago, how clients who live quite far apart, but who met at one of my clinics a year ago, are still in touch and have on several occasions done horse activities together.
There are plenty more ideas but, these few can offer you an affordable jump start to your riding season.
Because I offer training by the week, I find many folks who come for a week or two as a “spring tune up” to get them and their horse on the “same page” in order to go home with some realistic and plausible future goals and ideas.