If you New years resolution is to ride your horse more but we all have seen the dark nights drawing in as well as the bad weather. It makins riding harder and harder especially when you are working long hours. So I thought I would share with you my top tips on how to keep you and your horse active during the week while the evenings are dark and wet.
You see people going out all the time with their dogs but what’s to stop you going out running with your horse. You can discover the world together building on the connection between man and horse, never under estimate a good bond, having a willing partner makes your riding life so much easier. The biggest benefit is the fitness boost for you both, keeping you in good shape for when you ride again.
I love to long line my horses, so why not long line your horse in your arena. You can ask for everything you can ridden but on the ground. Time saving as less tack to put on and if its bad weather you can stay in your waterproofs. Although you couldn’t do a show jumping course with the lines due to the dark, it is possible with some more light. It will really help to keep your horses brain engaged due to the variety available with the lines compared to lunging in round pen.
In hand work
All you need is a bridle and an arena or field. This is a fantastic and dying art of working your horse again as if you where riding, yet not 12ft behind on the lines, nope along side your horse using very similar aids as you would usually. Such as your reins, whip or hand as the leg. You can start or develop your lateral work using your hand as a leg aid. This is a fantastic tool and I urge you to look this art up, it could be a game changer for you.
This one can be fun, engaging and challenging for you and the horse. There is hundreds of tricks you can teach your horse and if you are trying to build a particular muscle group you can pick a trick to strengthen or loosen specific muscle groups. Spanish walk is one of my favourites as well as asking him to pick up his hind legs to. Extra points for strengthening the bond between you and your beautiful fur baby.