(Photo by: Kelsey Bolin @snapcrackleclick)
Most of us ride our horses 5-6 days a week. Those 5-6 days envelope lessons and your plain hacks on your horse. But those “plain hacks” can easily be changed into a whole new learning experience if you go into with the mindset of doing something new almost everyday. Below, there is a list of ways I make my hacks more meaningful for the well-being of me and my horse, and just more fun for the both of us! (All of these may vary for your riding situation)
- Ride in different areas. Instead of riding in a normal arena everyday, try riding out on a flatter, grassy area. And, if available to you, don’t just ride in the same ring everyday. Where I ride, we have have 4 actual arenas (3 outdoor and 1 indoor). It’s very good for your horse to experience many types of scenery.
- Don’t just “go around the carousel”!! Mix it up by throwing in some circles, going down the quarter line, or doing serpentines. That way your horse will be able to balance itself without the rail to lean on.
- Ride with other horses. Lots of horses enjoy having company. So, they might be more focused if they know someone is working with them. Also, it can give them trail buddy (next bullet point will explain).
- Go on trail rides. After a ride on your horse, reward them by cooling them out outside of the arena. This will help them stretch out after work. It’s also good to trail ride with other horses because it can create a relationship of trust with other horses. It can help a horse who is usually grumpy around others maybe pick friend!
- Have a plan going into your ride. Plan out what exercises you want to do with you horse so it’s easily to establish reward. That way, you don’t run out of ideas while riding.
Enjoy your summer while it’s here!
– Anna Catherine