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Change It up for Your Horses Sake!

Updated on June 16, 2019
Ellison Hartley profile image

Ellison is a professional horse trainer and riding instructor. She runs a summer camp program and offers kids a safe introduction to horses.

True, Horses Are Creatures Of Habit

Yes, I would not argue with anyone who said that horses are a creature of habit. They most certainly are. Their behavior and demeanor are better when they are in a set routine and know what is expected of them.

When training routine can also be beneficial. Practice makes a perfect right? Or should I say perfect practice makes perfect! Whichever one you believe in, is fine by me.

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Benefit Of Routine

Just remember that the benefit of a routine and doing the same things over and over again can be mundane for your horse. Even though you really want to master that lead change, or whatever it is that you are working at. Consider your horse's mental wellbeing.

That may sound crazy to some. No offense was taken if you think I'm nuts! Consider how bored your horse must get, going round and round. Doing the same things every day. That is the way to teach him new skills of course. If you want to improve or refine his skills, I find that constant repetition makes for a grumpy horse.

Give A Little, Get A Little( Or Maybe A Lot)

Once your horse understands what it is you are asking of it, yes you need to continue to practice those skills. You also should continue practicing your earlier skill as to not lose ground with them.

We don't want our horses to feel that our riding them is mind numbing. We want to have willing partners right? In order to get willing partners, we have to give a little.

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Give The Old Routine A Break!

GIve your horse a break from routine. Switch horses with your friend, ride bareback. Go out on a trail ride. You could teach your horse a trick on the ground. Or you could even do something as simple as just taking him out to a shady spot one day and hand grazing him for a while. Being with him without a ton of expectations.

You might be surprised how a little change like this might make it feel like you are getting on a whole different horse the next time you ride. One that is interested, not bored, and ready to work.

Give it a shot, it can't hurt and I bet it will help!

Do You Give Your Horse Days Off Or Easy Days In Between Hard Rides?

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