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Give Some Thought to Your Riding Schedule
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Give Some Thought to Your Riding Schedule

To those of us who are working and busy with life all week long, the weekend is a welcome time of relaxation, fun and maybe some chores. (Hopefully, not too many!)

Some of us are able to ride our horses during the week and never miss a day. Or maybe you are a serious rider, but with work, you can't make it out to the barn every day. Most of your riding is done on the weekends.

Whatever works for you and your horse sounds great to me! Just keep these few things in mind!

If you only ride your horse on the weekends, take this into consideration when you plan your rides. If you only ride on weekends, and your horse just hangs out during the week, your horse is probably only minimally fit. You don't want to tire your horse out by overworking him on the weekends. That could lead to your horse having sore muscles and getting sour about being ridden.

If you want to be able to do more with your horse on the weekends, you might consider letting someone else ride him during the week.

On the other hand, if you are a rider that rides in a strict program and works your horse hard during the week, the weekend days may be spent showing. When you are not showing, don't forget to take time to let your horse "be a horse". This could mean giving him time off or turn out. You never know, you could even take your horse on a trail ride for a change.

I think that it is important that we remember our horses mental well being as well as the physical. I think we put more thought into how physically fit they are, forgetting to make their mental well being a priority.

Remember, they aren't the ones who chose to go over jumps or do dressage movements. They do their best for us. It is the least we can do to take their happiness into consideration.

Let them get dirty and run around in the paddock with their friends. Hand walk your horse and let him graze. Feed him treats. Take him out on a trail ride for a change of scenery.

I would bet that if you put time into your horse's mental health and happiness, you will have an even better bond! Give your horse some time to do horse thinks. It will make him an even more willing partner!

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