Prac­tice at home be­tween hacks

Your Horse (UK) - - Better Riding -

Many rid­ers have had a bad ex­pe­ri­ence that’s made us think that we never want to ven­ture out on the roads again, but to get bet­ter at road rid­ing, you have to re­visit what you’ve done. “Ev­ery time we go out we have to record how our horses be­have,” says Ian. “If a horse does any­thing that’s con­sid­ered flighty or dan­ger­ous, then that’s doc­u­mented. The idea is that any­one can read that horse’s file be­fore get­ting on board. We just pick up the file and pray the horse hasn’t had a week’s turnout be­fore we take him out.” When you get back from your hack, it’s al­ways worth mak­ing a note of what your horse found scary. That way you have the op­por­tu­nity to tackle those prob­lems at home in the school be­fore your next hack. “Of­ten our horses have to stand for a long time some­where that’s stupidly busy. But some­times – and ev­ery rider knows about this one – your horse doesn’t want to stand a cer­tain way,” adds Ian. “At that point, you have to ac­cept that it’s just not go­ing to hap­pen. Work out how to make your horse com­fort­able, be­cause that’s the real pri­or­ity.” The finer de­tails when it comes to rid­ing your horse in busy ar­eas will come, so try not to worry about the lit­tle things on your ride. Fo­cus on get­ting you and your horse back to the yard safely and keep­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence as pos­i­tive as pos­si­ble.

It’s im­por­tant to end ev­ery ride on a pos­i­tive note so your horse is con­fi­dent next time you leave the yard

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