السبت 22 يونيو 2024

How to Make the Most of Winter with your Horse

موقع أيام نيوز

Although there is no shortage of year round American show circuits to choose from, here in Canada, during the winter months the show season comes to a halt for most people. The benefit is that it gives us an opportunity to assess our goals and make whatever changes are necessary. Sit down and ask yourself what it is that you enjoyed most and least about the past show season. What are your future goals? How can you best meet your goals, taking into consideration budget and time commitments? For some riders this will mean starting with a new horse. For others, this will be a good time to change the program or direction with the horse you have.

Changing the program can include a number of things. Sometimes a horse may have minor soundness issues that need to be looked at. Experimenting with shoeing or other medical procedures may not be practical or affordable while competing because sometimes things get worse before they get better. X-rays, dietary supplements, alternative therapies, or even surgery may be beneficial at this time.

1 Back to School

The off season is a good time to address a training issue that has been put on the back burner. Is there a show ring habit that started to form, or a skill that began to lose precision? Sometimes you need to come at one of these issues from a different angle or experiment with different techniques or equipment. Again, things often get worse before they get better so it’s sometimes not practical to “open up a can of worms” in the middle of show season.

I often take in a winter training project from a long distance customer who may not want to part with their horse during the summer months. This is a good opportunity to get to the root of a training problem or introduce a new skill or event, such as flying changes, pattern classes, or work over fences.

Are there issues such as clipping, tying up, riding in traffic, or desensitizing to cattle, which, if addressed, would make next season more enjoyable?