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- 06/13/17--15:31: Training on the Trail: The Spooky Horse
- 06/13/17--15:36: Does Your Horse Need Supplements?
- 06/13/17--15:44: Getting Ready for the Riding Season—Top 3 Mistakes Riders Make
- 06/13/17--15:55: The Need for De-Spooking
- 06/13/17--16:00: Grooming as Massage
We are continuing our series on “training outside the box.” To review, we have discussed important steps to prepare for training on the trail, including reading the horse to recognize his inner energy level and working with him to release it, preparing the rider through warm up and stretching exercises, and building safety and confidence on the trail. We covered training tips for dealing with two of three common trail training issues: the horse that wants to always be in the lead and the horse that wants to run up from behind.
The question of whether or not to supplement a horse with vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, amino acids or nutraceuticals will be asked and answered 100,000 times today.
The answer in 99,999 cases will be accepted or rejected strictly on whether or not it was the answer the person asking wanted to hear.
Notes From Julie
For many of us, the winter months are not conducive to riding, due to frozen ground, inclement weather and/or mud. And whether we like it or not, sometimes life gets in the way of our riding plans—your horse gets hurt or you have a personal situation that causes an extended layoff for your horse. One way or the other, your horse may go months with no riding at all. As a result, the horse may get little handling as well. This recipe—no riding and little handling—doesn’t always result in sweet rides in the spring or a delicious comeback to riding.
An interesting fact about horses is that while they can seem so smart and appear to learn so fast when we are consistent with them, the flight instinct can take over quickly. The frightened horse doesn’t care what is in front of him. He is going to run. A startled or frightened horse will go through barbed wire or over a cliff, and with you in the saddle. That is why it is so important to spend time and use imaginative ways of producing a horse that will not react to every little thing that comes along. De-spooking or sacking out, allows you to bring your horse’s emotional level up then down.
The Way of Horses
Grooming our horses serves a number of functions. It gets the dirt, dust and mud off, it improves circulation and the condition of skin and coat and helps warm up muscles before we ride. It also gives us a chance to spend personal time with our horses doing something they enjoy and gives us pleasure.