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:

  1. If you’re in a bad mood, don’t ride
  2. If your riding is your “break” or “time to breathe,” just go on a trail ride and love on your horse.
  3. If you have a lot to do in a day and know you’ll be tired when you ride, prepare for an easy ride.
  4. If you’re tired because you have multiple horses to ride that day, ride the tougher ones first.
  5. 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!


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