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Have we forgotten why we started with horses?…

March 2, 2023

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Yesterday I had some time to kill between my lesson and the chiropractor arriving.... 2 1/2 hours to be exact! I felt it was pointless to go home as it was 15 minutes each way, and 2 hours wouldn't be enough time to really get stuck into and sort of task, so I mucked out slowly while listening to an audio book. 

Sovereign happily munched on his hay and watched me as I shovelled the previous nights offerings, and I was in a great mood because we had had our first canter in an arena together. My daughter, Amy, had cantered him loads in her lessons, and my good friend Nici had too, as well as taken him to his first under saddle show, but it was a first for me. Having lost my confidence following an accident with Sovereign's mum 3 years earlier, canter had been a mental block for me. We had managed it up a slight incline, out on the XC course at the yard, but steering in an arena had me petrified. We did it though, and I was on a high from it.

After mucking out, I brought him into the stable and started re-plaiting his long mane. Its one of those tasks you out off because it takes so long, but as I still had 2 hours to wait I thought it was the perfect time. He was calm and kept still for me to do it, with his head really coming out of the hay box. about half way through, he stopped chewing and fell asleep. It was the most beautiful feeling and I took a photo, being careful not to disturb him while reaching into my pocket for my phone.

It occurred to me then, why do we as equestrians forget the reason we got into horses in the first place? I would say a huge percentage is to spend time just being with them - but we don't do that, do we? I know the 8 year old me just wanted to brush, and plait, and talk to ponies, but now it seems my "time with my horse" is spent mucking out, poo picking, tacking up for my daughter, watching her ride/ compete, lunging, leading him back and forth to the field, holding him for appointments etc. Even when I ride I'm stressing the whole time about what COULD go wrong!

I've decided I'm going to make a conscious effort to just be with him. Sovereign is like a child, always looking for attention, so I need to just give it to him instead of moving from task to task. We need to slow down and remember why we wanted to get into horses in the first place - because it certainly wasn't to get rid of all our money and be run ragged! Get some enjoyment back!

If anyone would like to learn how new groundwork and bond building, I can highly recommend Lucy Chester Horsemanship.


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