Christmas is so close, and like many of our riders, the horses are taking a break too. It's good to take a break... whether it be from riding altogether or just from the regular ring work. Horses need not just physical breaks but mental breaks too. All to often, if we are go getters, like me, or if your not, we tend to get in a rut with working with our horses... we think we need to keep focusing on the things that trouble us the most. But why not step back from those trouble spots for a bit. Do something fun with your horse that they really love. Maybe they need to stop the leg yielding and hop over a few grids, or maybe they need a break from the endless courses and jump some logs outside. Either way, it's up to us to use our horsemanship to discern this.
I also caution against too much break. Sometimes it can be too unhealthy, especially for the older horses and the overweight ones. This is where being creative is key. Find a fun but moving exercise to keep the older horses going, and the extra calories from building up. My favorite is to break the side of caution and go for a walk out on the road, or go bareback. Don't be scared, it might be good for you too!
And sometimes, all that is needed is a change. Changing of the new year, changing of a bit, changing of a feed product, or changing of the heart. We all want what's best for our horses, and we will all see things from different angles. Even if you went to the same equine programs as me, you might have gotten a totally different view from me even if we took the exact same classes. We have to except that, and stick with one consistent viewpoint, and I hope it's not the same website! (Many websites are good, but aren't always using real life experiences). When you keep switching viewpoints, you tend to get more confused and take what you like from each context, while not getting the whole picture. Now, mind you it is good to get advice or a helpful hint from an outside source, as long as it doesn't drag you on a whole different path. Something should help to fill in the pieces of the picture, not change the picture.
So, my viewpoint for this holiday season, is to change things up, break from the same old same old, but don't change viewpoints. Be thankful for what you do have, and thankful for the people around you. Maybe there is more to them than what you realize! Discover something new in your group of friends, family, Christmas dinner and work that you spend time with every day. It just might be the thing that gives you a great new fresh start... without changing anything
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