Does your horse care how much you ride?
I was inspired to write this post, as I am coming off of a couple of years of sporadic riding. I also often read posts on social media about how it’s okay to not ride very often, and to not be hard on yourself if you are too busy. But is it really okay?
For me, it’s not….
I think they do care how much we ride, to a certain extent. My horses tend to thrive with a consistent routine! I find that they can get sour, and stressed, with sporadic riding – rather than regular riding. Do they care about their fitness and workload? Most probably don’t, but they do care if they are being asked to do something that their body isn’t conditioned for. A tough workout every so often, when the body isn’t fit, is not going to feel good for a horse. Mentally, I think inconsistent riding confuses them. They do not understand their purpose.
Furthermore, having any type of riding goal or desire to improve is going to require consistent work for both my horse and myself. I feel like there is this attitude in the world of social media right now that inconsistency is okay. We are supposed to have grace with ourselves. But to what end? Continually having grace with myself is not going to get me where I want to be. I feel like there is this embrace of mediocrity right, and I am sorry but I do not want to be a mediocre rider and I don’t want my horse to be mediocre either.
Flynn has been able to have consistent work over the past several months, as I have had him ridden when I was not able to, and he has progressed so much. I am trying to catch up to him. He also seems very happy to do his job, it is just a part of his day. I am sure he appreciates my improvement also!