With more time at home this month, I’m getting back in the saddle more. It’s good to get in a groove with your horse—the kind of groove that only comes when you ride 4-5 days a week. Keep in mind, my horses are still ridden when I travel, just not by me. If I haven’t ridden my horses in while, like in November (last month), I like to take it easy on them for the first few rides—not asking too much or expecting perfection. We just go forward—long trot, lope and gallop.
As the days go on, my expectations increase and my horses always rise to the occasion. Now that I am home for a full eight weeks, my riding plans start changing. Consistency changes a lot in horse training. While there are many things you can teach a horse really fast, like basic manners, to teach complex riding skills takes time and physical development.
The other big change for us is shifting from riding outdoors to indoors. And yes, after three decades of living in the Colorado mountains, I still count my lucky stars to have an indoor arena so that I can ride year-round. To make the most of 1) my eight week stretch of riding daily, and 2) riding in smaller spaces and doing concentrated schooling, I will need to formulate some new goals for each horse.
I love setting goals for my horses and myself, and having something new to work on. With three very different horses, I can work on a lot of different things.
Hmmm… what will it be? I want to spend some time mulling it over and coming up with fun and realistic goals. I think I have an idea with Annie already, but I am clueless on both Dually and Eddie. I’ll let you know next time!