The day after Halloween is referred to as All Saints’ Day. Sometimes you feel like your horse is the same—one day dressed up like a scary monster and the next day a saint! This dual personality in a horse is pretty normal. Read that sentence again – it’s normal. Your horse is not randomly possessed! But how do you ride this dual minded animal? What are the triggers? How can you tell if today is going to be a good day or not? How can you turn a ride that’s going not so well into something productive if not spectacular?
Well, this is where my riding notebook planning system makes a huge impact. Each day you are gathering facts on what you and your horse’s moods and attitudes are in relation to the weather, how you feel, the phase of the moon, etc. You also track which gaits and movements make your horse feel great – for example did you incorporate the ‘squiggles’ into your warm up routine and found you both relaxed into it and felt your horse’s movement and response to your individual aids? That made you feel good and your horse cues off your inner happiness. Then that’s a place to go back to when the scary monster comes out, to help find that relaxation and focus back on you and the task at hand. It’s important that you both have a ‘go to plan’ to tame the monster and bring out the saint.
This is super helpful in showing or clinics since you have a movement you both excel at and enjoy and can ride it to check in with each other. You can decide that day if you will be perfecting your half halts on the usually laid back mare, or if you’ll be tired when you’re done riding because you’ll be using a lot of leg!
If you want more training tips and to check out my planning system, visit Revelationfarm.com, or stay tuned for next week’s Two-minute Training Tips!