If you’ve never been on a horse before, and have signed up for lessons, the first lesson, as well as the subsequent ones, will begin in one of two ways. Your horse will either be saddled up and ready to go – or it won’t. The latter is the approach favored by most trainers. Besides learning to ride a horse, these trainers insist you learn how to prepare a horse for riding as well.
Before you even touch a saddle pad, a saddle, or a bridle, you’re likely be handed a brush and a curry comb along with a few instructions on what all is involved in grooming a horse. You’ll learn right away that there’s a significant difference between grooming and brushing. Grooming actually involves a number of things.
At first, the grooming activity focuses on getting the horse prepared for the ride. You aren’t apt to have a pleasant time on the back of the animal if there is a clump of dirt or roughed-up hair beneath the saddle, not to mention a burr or two. A comfortable horse is more apt to offer a comfortable ride.
By your fourth or fifth lesson, you’ll have learned quite a bit about grooming, besides learning how to saddle up and properly put on the bridle and bit. You may well discover in learning these preparatory steps you begin to experience a good feeling about yourself. Rather than being looked at as time-consuming chores, these essential tasks teach you a bit about the horse, and a bit about yourself as well.
Not only is grooming therapeutic for the horse, it is for you as well. Grooming a horse can in fact be an absolute joy at times. There will even be days when you would rather tend to the horse than ride on it. The “joy of grooming” may sound a bit far-fetched, but don’t be surprised to find that among other things, it can do wonders to dispel any fear you may have had of these beautiful animals.
Written by William Savage of Babbling Ink "Outsourcing Professionals United"
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