Thursday, January 17, 2013

Plan Your Outings

As we're heading into a new show season, now is a good time to start planning your show schedule especially if you have young horses.

Seasoning young horses takes a lot of patience but it also takes a lot of strategy and periodic review to do it successfully. A good horseman doesn't just haphazardly start hauling their young horse to everything they can. To season properly, you have to know your horse and map out a plan accordingly.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when hauling green horses is to take them to a high energy event. Basically a sink or swim approach.The horse acts up of course and they wonder why. He'd been so good at home!

To succeed in training young horses, and not get hurt, you have to set them up for success. Granted you can't control everything that happens but you can't put the odds in your favor. Instead of putting your horse in an environment that is a lot to take in and you know they're going to react unfavorably in, put them in an environment where they will encounter less new things and less high energy.

Instead of attempting to ride your horse in a crowded warm up pen or a big trail ride with a lot of horses, start out riding with just one or two horses and work from there. The more familiar the environment and the less amount of horses the more comfortable your young horse will be and the less likely he will be to act up.

We need to be the same way with ourselves in our faith walk with Christ. We need to take a hard honest look at ourselves and determine who we truly are on the inside. Then we need to keep ourselves in environments and situations that will elicit a Godly response from us instead of a worldly response.

What is not an issue with one person may very well be a down fall for someone else. The key is to take an honest look at yourself and your weaknesses and also asking God to guide you to see clearly.

As you move forward this year seek out those places that will bring out the best in both you and your horse!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Take A Break!

In working with horses we sometimes have a tendency to want to work to the point of perfection. After all, it's that perfection that gets us results in the show ring, right? While we do need to strive to improve our horse's performance, like anything else moderation is key.

Right now many parts of the country are under snow or rain. Pastures are frozen or knee deep in mud and riding pens are under water or slick with ice. It's just not a good time of year to get some good hard riding in. In fact, in many cases it's impossible unless you have an indoor arena.

We can't control the weather and not every one has access to an indoor riding pen. If that's the case for you, maybe it's a good time to take a break! 

Some of the top trainers will put 30-60 days on their two year olds and then turn them out all winter and barely mess with them. Why? If they kept riding them and drilling on them perfecting what they'd learned, sooner or later that colt is not going to enjoy its job. Just like us they need a break, except they need a break to just be a horse.

God knows we're the same way with Him. There's times we're driven so hard to accomplish or perfect something in our lives that we lose sight of the joy that we're supposed to have. The original Sabbath was meant just for that purpose. It was meant as a time to slow down and take a break so that we could spend time focusing on God and just being a human with Him. It's that time that makes us refreshed and ready to go again.

If you're frustrated with your riding or your life, maybe it's time to just slow down and take a break!