Take A Break From Lessons & Just Ride

I try to be at the barn every Saturday for my lesson even if I’m not at my best for riding.   That’s what happened this last Saturday.

I had just spent most of Thursday mowing my mother’s place with my husband trying to get it ready to sell.  It was hot and humid.  My back was already hurting from other things and this just compounded the problem.

But being the horse nut that I am, I was determined to ride on Saturday.  I told my trainer that I was not going to be able to do much in the way of intensive training.  So, we decided on no formal lesson, no intensive training . . . just ride.

We went out to the pasture and just meandered around.  We talked about her daughter’s upcoming wedding, my vacation in a few weeks, the recent horse shows that we’d been to and some future events that we would like to attend.

Even though we were not doing anything that could be called a lesson, I did make sure Dollar was doing what he was supposed to do.  He had to walk straight lines, make correct turns, and maintain the speed I asked of him.  There is a small strip of land behind the pond that is shaded by trees.  The horses sometimes find this a bit spooky because it is a confined space with the pond on one side and the fence on the other.  It was good to just walk calmly in and out.

We did a few turns on the forehand and the haunches.  Then I had the great idea.  The pasture has collected an amazing amount Canadian geese over the years.  My first horse (Iggette) loved to herd ducks, so why not try to herd the geese.

My trainer rode on one side and I rode on the other.  Very calmly, we captured about 10 of the geese and moved them along.  They waddled along in the direction we wanted.  We moved them into a smaller grouping.  They didn’t fly off.  Because there was only 2 of us, some escaped.    So we just rode off out into the pasture again.  When we came back to the geese, we cut a small group.  Again, calmly moving them around as we wanted and then riding off.  At then end of our ride, the horses were not stressed.  They had not tried to stop at the gate every time we passed it.  I rode without putting more stress on my back.

Riding your horse doesn’t have to be all intense lessons.  Riding your horse doesn’t have to be all about  training for that perfect pattern.  Sometimes riding your horse is just about taking a break from lessons and training.  Sometime riding your horse is just about enjoying a nice morning or afternoon with your horse and friends.  Sometimes riding your horse is just that . . . just ride.


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