Back to Work

0116c100e9d8ad323078f7444f8e22f82553aa93a9With all the bad weather we have had, yesterday was my first time riding a week. A week is not a major break, but care still had to be taken on Chance’s first day back to work. First of all, the footing was not ideal; it wasn’t terrible, just still a little wet. I never like to work horses too hard when the footing is not great. Also, he was understandably a little fresh. This my seem counterproductive, but I do not always like to work horses very hard when they are fresh. With Chance, the more I push the more worked up he gets and that is never my goal. My goal is to get him to settle. A lot of trotting usually accomplishes this. He settles, without me having to fight with him. Then, once he is quiet, I will canter him a bit then let him be done. Allowing horses to be done when they settle teaches them to associate being quiet with a short ride. My philosophy is to work them till they do what you ask of them, then stop. Drilling can cause sourness toward work, and that is never good. On the days I hack, if Chance is listening and responding well he gets a short ride. The same goes for jumping. If he goes around great, we jump around once or twice then we are done. Furthermore, after having a week off I think that light work the first day back is healthier for him. He is likely feeling stiff and tight after not working (much like we get when we go a week without exercising), so the first day back should loosen him up so that he can return to normal.

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