By Real Riderz
Even if you’re more into comepteing and have high ambitions, staying close to nature should be something that you incorporate into your training routine on a weekly basis.
Why? Because you will look epic like this guy in the picture above! Ok, well, real talk here: it’s great for your horses mental well-being because they get out of the arena. Heck, it’s also great for your well-being. Imagine coming to your office six days a week and always just sitting at your desk, I mean, most people would go crazy after a while, and your level of productivity would likely decrease.
So, you have a horse that just seems lazy and doesn’t want to go? There could be many factors causing this, such as discomfort, pain, ill-fitting tack, etc. However, it could also be the fact that the horse is bored of being in the same environment. You would be surprised how many horses change once you take them out to the field or even just around the barn to an area that they haven’t seen before. Some might start looking, while other start to pace like a hotheaded Thoroughbred (TB) horse.
If you want to introduce work outside of the arena more slowly, consider taking your horse out for a warm up or cool down (just at the walk) outside of the arena. Although, do consider that having a day where you just walk on a trail (if you’re lucky enough to have one) is actually beneficial because that is long walks is how you start building more muscle and thus better performance. Besides, a horse that is out and about will be more used to strange objects and sounds, and thus more ready for anything that may arise in the competition.
The work doesn’t stop when you leave the arena. You and your horse can still practice moevements such as lengthening/shortening, halting, shoulder in, leg-yield, etc. This will be a real test to your maneuverability because there are no arena walls to constrain the horse, and way more distractions. Even if you hust decided to stick to the walk, you can ride, you will surely benefit from trail riding because it is yet another bonding opportunity.
Happy trail riding and stay safe!