As school starts up and we move into fall, it seems like our schedules get tighter and tighter. Tight schedules mean that you might be cutting your rides short. Here are some great ways to make your ride on a tight schedule a success.
While it’s great to spend some quality time grooming your horse, when you have a tight schedule the deluxe grooming session needs to be curtailed. You can get into the saddle faster if you only groom the areas of your horse that are essential before tacking up. Focus on your horse’s girth and saddle area, his bridle area, and his hooves. You’ll be tacking up in no time – just don’t forget to give your horse a thorough grooming session another day.
Focus on Yourself During Warmup and Cool Down
Although it’s tempting to jump right into your ride to get as much done as possible, sacrificing your horse’s warmup or cool down will only lead to trouble and can actually cause injury in your horse. Instead, use the time you spend on warming up and cooling down your horse to focus on your own riding. Examine and finesse your position in the saddle. Work on stretching and balancing exercises. Mentally prepare for your ride, or review what you have accomplished.
Have a Goal in Mind
Setting out on a ride with a specific training goal in mind is great – it shows initiative, and can give you direction in how you plan your ride and your time. You might find that it’s extra important to have a goal when you’re riding on a schedule, but also remember that you may need to change that goal throughout the ride. Nothing with horses can be predicted, and you may find that the goal you set out with is not the goal that you should maintain during the ride. Adjust your goal as necessary.
When you have only so much time to ride, you might try to fit in everything that you could accomplish during a regular ride, only faster. Rushing with a horse in any aspect of riding is a bad idea, and it’s likely to set you back further in the long run. Instead of rushing to fit in many aspects of your ride, focus only on a few main ideas or techniques that you would like to work on in the ring. Remember that you can always work on the other techniques another day, and both you and your horse will be happier that you took your time.
You can ride on a tight schedule – it just takes a little planning and discipline.
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