السبت 22 يونيو 2024

Avoid Burnout with Your Horse: Have a Plan

موقع أيام نيوز

For those of us who can measure our involvement with horses by decades rather than days or months, showing up at the barn can feel like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. With a few minor variations, our days follow a similar routine. And while these routines are generally satisfying, they open the door for burnout. Even when you love your horse or horse training career wildly, this sameness gets dull.

When you sustain any routine for an extended time – a hobby, an exercise program, a health habit – burnout lurks around the corner.

The obvious solution, and the right thing for our horses, is to avoid the sameness. In so doing we avoid burnout. For our purposes, I’m defining sameness as exercises of similar type or intensity every time we work with our horses. Once upon a time as young trainer, I put my training horses through 45-minute dressage schooling sessions four to five days per week, operating from the belief that in order to get better at dressage, we needed to do dressage as much as possible. Sometimes I substituted a day of longing or ground driving for riding, but generally our daily routines were very similar.

With small variations in the exercises we rode or the amount of time in each gait, the bulk of our arena schooling was repetitive in terms of work effort, seriousness, duration, and objectives. As a not-young-anymore trainer I admitted to myself that I felt a little burned out. Maybe not entirely toasted yet, but definitely burning around the edges.