Bliss had some time off, now getting her back into work. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 03-10-2012, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Bliss had some time off, now getting her back into work.

For a few reasons (main one being work), I haven't had time to go riding the past couple months. I'm getting my hours reduced though, so we're getting back into work.

I read somewhere that I should start slowly with walk work, then trot, etc. But Bliss is a tad high-strung and unless she's being worked regularly, she can be quite a handful. So because of her time off, I'm worried she has a couple months worth of pent-up energy and honestly I'm nervous about getting back on her (and the last few times we've ridden, she's been too nervous/spooky to stand still long enough for me to tack her). Anyways my main point is, I'm gonna need to keep her mind busy and I'm not sure walk work will be enough.

So I guess, to summarize, these are my questions:
- How do I keep her focused/calm while at such a slow pace?
- How should I handle it if she won't stand while I tack?
- Will it be okay to lunge her, or is that too hard on her?
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post #2 of 2 Old 03-10-2012, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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If she's had that much time off, just bring her in, pick out her feet and then longe her both directions to let her shake the dust off. I wouldn't let her run around like a lunatic, but expect some bucks and kicks while she's letting off steam. After that, then take her back in to groom and saddle her. Once you're back in the saddle, my rule of thumb don't move on until horse is relaxed. At the walk, on a long rein, do shallow serpentines, subtle changes of bend, frequent changes of direction, whatever is necessary to keep her attention on you and not all the things she wants to spook at. She's already had time to be a good on the longe. Now it's time to work. Once she's relatively calm, then move up to trot and work on the same thing, relaxation. Move onto canter, repeat. Once your warmup is complete, work on whatever you had planned for that day.

The average horse can go about 4 months without losing significant muscle tone (very unlike us!), so she's probably more capable of hard work than you think. You know her best, so just ride until she starts showing signs of tiring.

Have fun getting back into riding!

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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