Well hello there! Hope your having a great weekend. It’s been raining here all day which has kept me cooped up inside catching up on my TV shows I’ve missed this week. My favorite show that I’ve been watching today is Downunder Horsemanship with Clinton Anderson on RFD-TV. I’ve been a big fan of Clinton’s for a long time even though I don’t agree with everything he preaches. I gotta tell you too, watching his shows makes me want to get out and work my horses now. If only I had an indoor arena. I would be out working them.
Since I don’t feel like being cold and wet today, I’ll just have to work them tomorrow. As you know, Gracie has been hurt and taken up a lot of my time when I’m at the farm. I haven’t had time to work Vinni or my other horses because of that. So basically all my horses have had the Winter off. No more. The Chiro was out again this week and gave me a thumbs up to start Gracie back slowly. Not only has she been cleared for riding but spring is practically knocking on the door and shows have started again. So I’ve decided tomorrow will be Day 1 of my new #FitHorse™ Riding Program.
I know that some of you might have given your horses time off this winter as well, so I thought why not have a program we all can do together to get our horses back in shape. If you read my last post then you know I complained about not having the time or motivation to accomplish the things I want to do. I’m ready for that to change and this is how I’m going to make that change take place. Not only is this program going to help set a new routine of riding everyday it’s also going to help hold me accountable for doing it and for motivating me.
Alright so here’s how it’s going to work. I 100% believe that horses should be put back to work slowly so they can build up the muscle and confidence they need to return to their careers. I’ve seen people take their horses out of the field and put them back to work like they never had any time off and I am against that. I believe that is the fastest way to get a horse injured and yourself. So here’s the plan I came up with. It’s not set in stone and probably will need to be changed/adapted for you depending on your schedule and level that your horse is at. However, I’m hoping this plan will be something we can do together. Even though we all aren’t riding together, we can still do this and share how our rides went. We can use this program as a way to share ideas and ask question.
I plan to start Week 1 of #FitHorse™ tomorrow and will continue with Sunday being the start of each weeks riding. This week consists of mostly walking and some trotting. I plan to focus a lot of my attention on getting my horses supple and flexing. I also want to tune up their transitions from walk to whoa, whoa to walk, walk to trot, trot to walk, whoa to trot, trot to whoa. The program is 7 days with 1 day break since we aren’t working our horses that hard. As the intensity of riding increases will look at an extra day off but for now just 1.
Riding can be done in a field, arena, or on a trail. If you have hills, then I would suggest doing some of your riding up and down hills. Hill work is great for building stamina and increasing muscle. Now I know mother nature can get in the way of our program which is why I say it’s flexible. If rain, snow, or ice keeps you from riding then just use that as your day off and start back the next day. If you fall behind on the program for other reason, that’s ok, don’t stop just start at whatever point you left off at. This isn’t a race to the finish line, there is no winner. We all will be winners in the end because we all will have horses that are in shape and able to show or ride for long hours.
I will update how my riding during week 1 is going on this post. Since I want to make sure I accomplish this goal and not have it stress me out, I’m planning to update how my week is going on Wednesday and again on Saturday. That’s not to say I won’t post more then that, so check back often. Like I said before, I’d love for this to be a “Buddy riding program” so I want to hear how your riding is going too. So please come back and let me know how your horse is coming along. I’d love to hear all about your time riding and what you did. So please do share. 🙂
Alright ya’ll, let’s get at it. Time to #DoWork! Let Week 1 of #FitHorse™ begin!
Day 1 – Umm..My horse, Gracie, thinks she is a bucking bronco. I tacked her up like normal and decided I would ride in the arena. Gracie has a really good foundation on her but she has a really tough mouth so I wanted to work on making her supple. So i worked on flexing and giving to the bit more. I was planning to just walk the entire ride but remembered the chiro said I needed to get her trotting and building up her muscles in her rear so it would hold her joints in place better, so we trotted or should I say kicked out with every other step. So me being the worry wart I am, thought something was hurting her so I got off to trot her by hand. I groomed her very good before I tacked her up and I knew she was sound because I saw her running in the field. Well I had Braxton trot her so I could watch her move and sure enough as soon as they started to run she went into a bucking/crow hopping fit. At that point I knew she was just feeling good and wanted to test the water. So I got back on and rode her around then put her into the round pen to work on de-spooking and to see her move. Silly horse is all I have left to say. Hopefully she is over that today. She is the only one I got to ride yesterday but I did work Jet in the round pen. I basically let him determine what he felt up to doing which was a lot of trotting, so I went with it. When he got tired we stopped.
Day 2 & 3 – 🙁 Sad to say I didn’t get to ride either of these days like I had hoped I would. Fact is I just don’t have time right now to ride during the week. Getting Braxton home so he can do homework and eat dinner at a decent hour and then be in bed by 7:30/8:00 is more important then me riding. So riding gets pushed to the back burner. Luckily I realized this will change when he is out of school or once I have my own place and have them at home to ride when it’s convenient. For now tho, I have to keep Braxton as my priority and riding second. Still aiming to ride when I can though. Who knows maybe I’ll get in a ride on Day 4 and obviously no break for day 6. 😉
Day 4 & 5 – I was able to work Gracie in the round pen both of these days. We worked on ground manners, trotting nicely on the line and de-spooking. I was only able to work Vinni on Thursday and I did the same with him.
#FitHorse Week 2 just got posted – Continue the program here.
*Disclaimer: FitHorse™ is in the process of being Trademarked by me. Please don’t use or copy this name/program without my permission. Thank you.