When Not to Ride
Hey guys! The other night as I was finishing my day at 8 p.m. on my last horse, and trying to think of another good blog idea as we were walking around. Sometimes when it’s late like this and I’m a little tired I do an easy ride, so I may only do long and low, or do a hack, but nothing too strenuous that may cause an intense ride.
How many times have you come from a long bad day and feel like you need to ride your horse but really aren’t in the mood? Well, here’s some advice for you … DON’T RIDE. I can say this from personal experience. Horses are somewhat intuitive; they can feel your vibes. I know countless times I have been a tad bit grumpy and felt like I needed to ride to prepare for the next show and have started WWIII!
When we have had a bad day, we aren’t as patient, and our fuses are way shorter than any other normal day. And let me tell you about my sensitive Thoroughbreds. If I start a fight because I’m tired, mad, or sad, they are just as determined to finish it. You will not win against a thousand-pound, free-spirited animal.
So what do you do? Learn to walk away and try another day. Now that being said, I am also the type of person that can’t quit a ride unless I quit on a good note. So I go back to something easy and simple that we both do well and then call it a day.
Here are 5 simple rules I’ve made that I try to follow:
- If you’re in a bad mood, don’t ride
- If your riding is your “break” or “time to breathe,” just go on a trail ride and love on your horse.
- If you have a lot to do in a day and know you’ll be tired when you ride, prepare for an easy ride.
- If you’re tired because you have multiple horses to ride that day, ride the tougher ones first.
- If you’re sick, a day off will never kill your horse. Seriously, I’ve never heard of a horse dying because he or she got the day off! (They will probably thank you.)
I got some good advice once from Eric Dierks when I was talking to him about riding multiple horses. He recommended never riding more than 4 horses a day and to try to ride my guys first. I may not be able to follow that advice all the time, but it is good advice.
Until next time, safe rides!