You’re enjoying a great ride with your horse, and things are going well. You keep asking him for more and more until all of a sudden, things start going poorly. That wonderful ride is gone, and you’ve missed your ideal time to end your ride. Consider these six tips which can help you determine when it’s time to end your ride next time.
You’re Happy with the Progress
You’ve been schooling your horse for half an hour and he’s quiet, attentive, and listening. You’ve made some great progress during the ride – excellent! Don’t push it. If you’re happy with the progress that your horse has made, then it’s important to be able to accept the progress and end the ride while you’re on top. Pushing your horse to give you more and more can leave both of you tired and frustrated, changing the tone of the ride.
Your Horse Is Going Well
If you’re lucky enough to have one of those wonderful rides where your horse is going along perfectly, then do your best to soak in the moment. Change some things up a bit, ride for a bit longer, and then reward your horse for being so great by ending the ride.
Your Horse Tries for You
Sometimes a ride can be frustrating, and it may feel like you’re not making any progress at all. You may try something again and again without making any progress, and it may seem like your horse is completely ignoring you or not getting the right idea. During days like this, as soon as your horse tries – even if he doesn’t complete the particular movement or behavior that you’re asking for – end the ride. Continuing to school will leave both of you frustrated; try again tomorrow and you may have better results.
You and/or Your Horse Are Tired
If either you or your horse are tired, then it’s probably time to end your ride. Continuing to school when you’re fatigued will never result in a stellar performance or progress. Try again when you’re refreshed and you’re sure to have better results.
The Ride Gets Dangerous
There are some days when it’s best to end your ride in order to keep yourself safe. Maybe your horse needs more groundwork or isn’t mentally in the right place to be ridden. If trying to stay on your horse is dangerous, then end your ride, but don’t end the work for your horse. Do groundwork or put him on the lunge line until he is quieter and more responsive to you.
You or Your Horse Are Hurt
We’ve all been told to get back into the saddle after every fall, but if you’re seriously injured, then it’s time to end your ride. The same goes for an injury to your horse – if he’s not working out of his stiffness or gets sore during the ride, then dismount immediately.
Knowing when to end your ride can make it a more successful experience and will set you up well for your next ride.