Spring has finally made an appearance, it may be short lived now but I’m choosing to ignore the ‘beast from the east round 3’ rumour that is circulating.
It’s a breath of fresh air to wake up in the morning to the sun glaring through my curtains and going a full day at work staying dry. As much as I love going out with the vets to visit you all and your lovely four-legged friends, the frost bite on my toes and the mud baths- not the spa type, were starting to get a little bit too much.
I’m sure you all must be enjoying the longer day light hours as well. We’ve got no excuse not to make the most of it. I’m the first to admit that my horses have had a slightly extended holiday this winter and it has probably been the same for a lot of you. So, it’s time to get the brushes out, especially if your horse has taken up the hobby of being a part time hippo over the past months, brush the mud off our ridings boots and get back into the swing of things.
However, you may be thinking, where do I begin? Here are a few little tips to help you get your horse back into work after a quiet winter.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
It’s all in the title. If you haven’t sat on your horse in a while, start by lunging or long reining. One sniff of the spring grass and we all know what it can do to our horses- doing an impression of a rodeo rider may sound fun but in reality.. Once you’re back on board, walk, walk, walk- gradually increasing the work load. All our horses are individuals, you know them best and you know when they’re ready to move onto the next level of fitness.
Competitions are coming around thick and fast, be realistic when planning your show schedule. The hunter trail that’s being held next week sounds very appealing, but is your noble steed ready for it? The thought of being asked to run a 5K park run at the weekend is making me feel slightly out of breath, can we expect our horses to jump straight back into it too?
Make it fun, the last thing you want to do is to bore yourself. Have variety in your fitness work:
Go for a hack
Get involved in a pleasure ride
Add poles, there’s so many great ideas on the internet currently regarding pole work, it gets your horse thinking and especially yourself when it comes to setting them up!
Last, but not least.
Enjoy being back in the saddle and doing what you love. Make the most of the sunshine, we have been waiting long enough for it to make an appearance.
Please let us know at Ridings what you and your furry friends are getting up to in the sunshine, we love to hear.
One last note. Brushes at the ready, let the moulting commence.