SWR Blog: “Time Well Spent”
In the hustle and bustle of life as we try to accomplish and maintain so many aspect of our lives it can become very difficult to carve out a little bit of time to spend with our horses. When we do find that time, we hope for a easy going, problem free ride to help melt away the stress and complications leftover from our daily lives. For some of us that may happen every time. Our horses are simply happy to see us and ready to get out and do something with us, and we smile as all our cares melt away as we ride off into the sunset.
Unfortunately for others of us our hope of a stress melting ride gets blown out of the water while we spend half an hour trying to catch our horse, who then does not want to stand still to be groomed or saddled and is trying to get back to the gate or barn the entire time we are in the saddle. Then tempers flare and we either end up giving up and putting the horse away (letting them win) or going ballistic on our horses causing unnecessary discomfort and in some cases pain, which in turn sets us up for a stressful ride next time.
So what’s the solution?
One solution would be to sell the problem horse and buy one that’s attitude and personality is more suited for your level of riding. There are many well trained horses in this world that would be perfect for the weekend warrior. There are downfalls to this solution. Well trained, solid horses (often referred to as kid broke or husband broke horses) tend to have a significant price tag and are generally older, meaning that you will not have as many years with them. There is also the issue that our original horse may not have been the problem at all. It could have been how we were handling that horse. If we were to continue the same uneducated handling practices with our new “kid” horse they could end up being just as much of a handful.
Another solution is to spend the time that you can developing a relationship with your horse. Start by setting small goals several times a week. This time need not be more than half and hour a few times a week. If time is still an issue, it up to us to decide if our horse is more important than that extra half hour of sleep or our favorite TV show. Put some thought into what your horse really needs from you other than feed and water. If you pay attention, they will let you know exactly what they need. If your horse is hard to catch, spend some time brushing and petting on him in the pasture. Let him know that he doesn’t have to go through hell every time that you show up. That’s the easiest one to fix. Other issues may require more advanced skills. Round pen work, ground work and soft balanced riding may be what you need to help your horse get to the next level.
This leads us to our final solution. Seek out the help of a professional. Our team here at SWR is dedicated to helping people develop stronger relationships with their horses. Consider letting us help you through your problems. We would be happy to work with you and your horse with the goal of building the foundation for a lasting relationship for years to come.
Stay safe, keep riding, and above all, never stop thinking.
Director of Horsemanship Programs