ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

It's Okay to Take a Day off Every Now and Then

Updated on November 29, 2018
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.

Sometimes A Day Off Is For The Best

There are times though, that I think, if you don't feel like riding, that is okay. Actually best for both you and your horse.

Perhaps just a leisurely walk around is best some days.
Perhaps just a leisurely walk around is best some days. | Source

Not Physically Feeling Well

If you are not feeling well physically, maybe you have a cold or a headache. You aren't going to focus and be as strong as you normally are. This may allow your horse to take advantage of your weakness and give you a hard time. When you aren't feeling up to par, that is the worst possible time for your horse to act up.

Save yourself the frustration. Go home, rest and give your horse a day off. One day off when you aren't feeling well isn't going to totally screw up your program.

This photo is a bit of an exaggeration, it is from earlier this year when I first got hurt and spent almost all my time sleeping.... but you get the  point, sometimes you just don't feel up to it, so don't !
This photo is a bit of an exaggeration, it is from earlier this year when I first got hurt and spent almost all my time sleeping.... but you get the point, sometimes you just don't feel up to it, so don't ! | Source

Bad Weather-Too Hot or Too Cold

Bad weather is relative depending on where you live and what time of year it is. In the winter time, if the ground is frozen hard and it super windy, that is probably a day it is okay not to ride. Though if it's sunny and calm and 40 degrees, those days may be few and far between in the winter. I'd say bundle up and make the best of it. I think you will be glad you did.

One thing that I think is a real pain is when it is super windy. Some horses really don't handle wind well. If your horse is one of those horses that gets really spooked in the wind, I can see why you would choose not to ride on a windy day.

Though keep in mind, that the only way your horse will acclimate to behaving in the wind is for you to work them in it. Maybe you could lunge or do groundwork...that way you are still getting something accomplished and not driving yourself mad sitting on your horse that feels like he wants to jump out from underneath of you at any minute If the heat is your problem where you live. Riding early in the morning or late evening can be the best solution. Flies often complicate the hot weather riding as well. I know here in Maryland we have had days where the flies were so bad the horses were wanting to lay down and roll with the tack on. Obviously, on days like that, there is not enough bug spray in the world to make your ride pleasant so I wouldn't bother. I would say give your horse a nice bath and put him back in the stall in front of the fan to relax. Then get yourself a cold drink.

This is my mood when I see snow, so you can bet you won't see my on a horse!
This is my mood when I see snow, so you can bet you won't see my on a horse! | Source

Your Ride Yesterday Was Bad

This one is a little more complicated, if you don't want to ride because your ride the day before was bad, that is understandable. The problem is though you need to look at thing objectively and decide if you are not wanting to ride due to fear of frustration, or if you are actually afraid.

Either one is okay, just needs to be dealt with differently. If you just had a frustrating ride the day before. I would say that you and your horse are both burned out to a point. So, instead of not riding, spend a long time grooming your horse and then go for a lazy ride. Just wander around the farm or trails if you have access to some. Don't worry about anything that happened yesterday. Put all your frustration aside, and just enjoy being with your horse.

If you are not wanting to ride because you are fearful, then you need to determine whether or not it is a safety issue. If you don't want to ride because your horse has gotten into the habit of doing something dangerous that is a whole different ball game. Yes, the only way to fix it is to ride through it. If you are afraid though, that is just going to compound the problem. If you feel you are in this sort of situation talk to your trainer and come up with a plan of how to move forward.

It might be anything from the trainer riding the horse for you for a while. At the same time, you riding a different horse to get your confidence back. Maybe the trainer will suggest you do two or three days of lessons in a row. Just to deal with the issue head-on, get rid of it hopefully and build your confidence.

Be honest with yourself about whether or not you are not wanting to ride due to fear or frustration. Both issues can be easily handled but with different tactics and you may need to enlist a little extra help from your trainer. Remember to always be honest with your trainer about how things are going. We are not mind reader's and believe it or not sometimes you students do a good job of hiding your frustration or fear from us. Though sometimes it is a good thing because if we can't see it the horse can't feel it, other times it is just avoiding a problem and could just make it worse.

Kemerton and I obviously were having a bad day that day. He has his ears pinned at me, isn't going forward and I'm digging him with my heels. yuck
Kemerton and I obviously were having a bad day that day. He has his ears pinned at me, isn't going forward and I'm digging him with my heels. yuck | Source

You Are Just In A Bad Mood

If you are just in a bad mood from something totally unrelated to your horse or the barn, you will need to decide if you can separate yourself from your emotions to be able to ride effectively. If you think that you can turn off your negative vibes from the day and focus on your horse, riding might be what you need to do to turn your day around.

If you are not going to be able to let go of your bad vibes and are going to take them out onto your horse in a frustrating manner than you are better off not getting on. Groom your horse, take him for a hand graze, clean your tack, sit in the barn and relax. Don't take out your bad day on your horse. You are better off giving your horse the day off than you are treating him unfairly and not riding tactfully because you are in a bad mood.

Not exactly an appropriate picture, but cute none the less. Levi definitely didn't look in the mood to be around horses that day.
Not exactly an appropriate picture, but cute none the less. Levi definitely didn't look in the mood to be around horses that day. | Source

You Had Such A Great Ride The Day Before

Sometimes we have such great rides, whether it be in a lesson or on our own, that we just want to bask in it for a day or so, let it soak in. We know that riding is hard and that not every day is going to be as easy as the last. So if you had an awesome ride yesterday and just want to bask in the glory of it the next day and take the day off, that is totally understandable.

Looking at it the other way, if you had a lightbulb moment with your horse yesterday, riding again the next day may be the perfect way to solidify the new skills you learned. Just be prepared that you may not get it quite as easily and if so, don't let your ride end in disappointment and frustration. Remember how great it felt yesterday, and then try and break it down step by step, figure out what's missing and see if you can have that lightbulb ride again.

Sometimes you just had such fun riding the day before you want to take a day off and bask in the glow of it.
Sometimes you just had such fun riding the day before you want to take a day off and bask in the glow of it. | Source

The Horsemanship Journey

The horsemanship journey is a lifelong process. Anyone like myself who has chosen this path I think will attest to the fact that it is full of highs and lows.

Learning to roll with the punches and control your emotions is a huge part of it. It is humbling dealing with a thousand pound animal with its own brain, and always knowing in the back of your mind that you can never have total control. To be good with horses you have to learn to be humble. To admit the days when you just aren't going to be able to do your horse justice for whatever reason. To listen to what your horse is telling you about how he feels. His body language, is the horse tense? Nervous? Do you think he is in pain?

Being aware of all of these things with your horse as well as within yourself is what will make you a great horseman. If you are just having one of those days, there is no shame in not getting on your horse.

If you had an amazing ride yesterday and you just want to bask in the glory of how great it felt and take the day off today. Go for it.

If you had a terrible ride yesterday and you want to get on a try and see if you can work it out today, go right ahead.

Even if you don't have an amazing ride ( let's be real here, they won't all be amazing). No time in the saddle is wasted. Every time we throw our leg over our horse is an opportunity to learn. Not just about our horses but, also about ourselves.

Be humble, listen to your horse, ask for help if you need it. Take a day off every now and then, you have your whole life to be on this journey.

I have come a long way on my horsemanship journey, and even though I can't ride at the moment, I'm still learning every day.
I have come a long way on my horsemanship journey, and even though I can't ride at the moment, I'm still learning every day. | Source

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • Ellison Hartley profile imageAUTHOR

    Ellison Hartley 

    16 months ago from Maryland, USA

    very true!

  • profile image

    SueMaltby 

    16 months ago

    Yes! And a little distance now and then helps appreciate the blessing of having s horse to ride.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)