All Work and No Play?
 
 

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All Work and No Play?

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        01-05-2013, 05:37 PM
      #1
    Yearling
    All Work and No Play?

    I know that this is probably a silly question, but I figured I would ask any way.

    I know Chance needs work on his ground manners. He's "okay", and doesn't exhibit anything too serious. Not aggressive, not nasty, just a little pushy sometimes. Basically just needs a big tune up.

    Under saddle, I find that more and more I am finding ways of relaxing him and we have been doing great and every time when we end he has made me proud. I was wondering, are there days when you skip doing any "real" work and just ride for the relaxation and fun? I love working, I love being around horses, but I feel I am getting burnt out between Epona (my equestrian team), having to work on Chance, and potentially get another horse fit for festival.

    I am already going to drop Epona so that I can focus on Chance and basically enjoy my "vacation" before festival comes around and I can enter with a fresh mind, rather than with resentment and sourness.

    I was just wondering, since his ground manners aren't perfect, if it would be not the wisest of choices? I know that every time you work a horse, you expect something to be done better than it has before. I am not eliminating that, as I feel he would benefit from simply being taken out more, and as we ride I will work patterns with him and see if I can trouble shoot some saddle stuff-- the saddle he uses may be too small for him.

    Sorry if this is a bit everywhere.
         
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        01-05-2013, 05:46 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Deschutes    
    I know that this is probably a silly question, but I figured I would ask any way.

    I know Chance needs work on his ground manners. He's "okay", and doesn't exhibit anything too serious. Not aggressive, not nasty, just a little pushy sometimes. Basically just needs a big tune up.

    Under saddle, I find that more and more I am finding ways of relaxing him and we have been doing great and every time when we end he has made me proud. I was wondering, are there days when you skip doing any "real" work and just ride for the relaxation and fun? I love working, I love being around horses, but I feel I am getting burnt out between Epona (my equestrian team), having to work on Chance, and potentially get another horse fit for festival.

    I am already going to drop Epona so that I can focus on Chance and basically enjoy my "vacation" before festival comes around and I can enter with a fresh mind, rather than with resentment and sourness.

    I was just wondering, since his ground manners aren't perfect, if it would be not the wisest of choices? I know that every time you work a horse, you expect something to be done better than it has before. I am not eliminating that, as I feel he would benefit from simply being taken out more, and as we ride I will work patterns with him and see if I can trouble shoot some saddle stuff-- the saddle he uses may be too small for him.

    Sorry if this is a bit everywhere.
    My question, reading this entire post is, given the bolded why would you consider working on under saddle "fun" rather than addressing the issue you acknowledge is there? There is nothing wrong with having fun rides, no, but if the horse is displaying issues on the ground, address them from the ground.
         
        01-05-2013, 05:56 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    The other option I would have is riding the other horse I normally ride, but the owner is needing to get a farrier out to get a shoe off him.

    My version of "fun" is walking/trotting bareback. But I can't do that really on him at this point, so I was thinking of simply doing what we normally do when we ride: walk, do patterns, work on flexing, getting flexible under saddle.

    To be more precise I guess what I'm asking is: is it alright to miss a day without groundwork and go straight to the saddle for a break for some relaxation?
         
        01-05-2013, 06:06 PM
      #4
    Yearling
    Is he bored? My mare gets bored and forgets her manners occasionally but is very easily reminded and easy to refocus luckily. I find that mixing things up helps keep her from having those forgetful moments. We do tons of ground work and very little riding but we still have fun. I also always keep my expectations consistent so she knows what kind of behavior is accepted. I never allow her to get rude or pushy and being consistent has lessened her forgetful moments as well.

    You can play games and have fun on the ground while still teaching ground manners, just get creative and remember to have fun. Go in with the intention of having fun and try not to stress on the little things. Good Luck!
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        01-05-2013, 06:15 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by themacpack    
    My question, reading this entire post is, given the bolded why would you consider working on under saddle "fun" rather than addressing the issue you acknowledge is there? There is nothing wrong with having fun rides, no, but if the horse is displaying issues on the ground, address them from the ground.
    I'm speaking for myself entirely here... For me, I spend a lot of money to board and care for my horse. So having a "good time" with him is important. It doesn't always need to be fun, but if it's always work, then i'm easily fried.

    My horse came to me with lots of issue. I even employed a "ground trainer" to help me. She insisted that I quit riding as well, and work him from the ground only. Which I refused to do. I kept him in half training with my riding instructor, and half training with the ground work trainer. In less than a year my horse was a completely different horse. I stuck to my guns and continued to work him undersaddle. It wasn't always happiness and roses, but now that i've had him a little over a year I wouldn't have done it any other way.

    If you don't keep your sanity with your sport, then it's not fun for anyone anymore... and that includes the horse. IMO.
         
        01-05-2013, 06:18 PM
      #6
    Yearling
    Thank you! He isn't bored per say, more like a tad herd sour, nervous, and a little disrespectful. I want to do clicker training for some tricks like bowing and lay down, but he's not very good about keeping his nose away after a treat has been administered. Not only that, but he has once tried eating my phone thinking it was a treat. Silly horse.

    Usually a weekend of "me" time gets me well enough to be energized to tackle the bigger issues, like his spookiness. Walking through things is a bit of a challenge. All his problems (except one) are very minor, I feel. Its just with all the epona practices, it leaves me with one full day to work with him and that is no where near enough. Otherwise, if he wasn't a horse I wanted to own in the future, I would have kept with epona.

    The last time I took him out, we had a big argument. I was trying to see how hed do in a pasture (we have snow, and I worried about the outdoor arena having ice) and as soon as I got past the gate he tried ripping the lead rope from me to be with his buddies. Needless to say words were had.

    Strange enough, I was wanting to do ground work on my own time with an other horse I ride for epona, but being able to do it without it being during practice just feels like "work".
         
        01-05-2013, 06:22 PM
      #7
    Yearling
    I've tried being strictly all work with my horses, it really sucked all the enjoyment out of horses for me but it's different for many people. I personally can't be constantly up my horses hiney and find myself or the horse having fun. Correct horses when they need it, but don't constantly nit-pick...that's what I started doing that made me & the horse miserable. My horses get disciplined when they are being disrespectful, but I stopped nit-picking a looong time ago.
    Oxer likes this.
         
        01-05-2013, 06:24 PM
      #8
    Yearling
    Edit button not working so I just wish to clarify about "work".

    During practice, we do ground work for fifteen minutes, and while the horse and I are on pretty good terms (haven't had any real troubles with him, and he respects me fairly well), the air just feels totally different. It feels more like you are trying to achieve something, rather than doing it because you want to do it, and it betters the horse in some way. Especially when people are watching, and sometimes comments are made that "maybe I shouldn't be doing something that way" or "maybe you should stop because you aren't getting anywhere". These were comments made on trying to get said horse to flex on his left side, in which he is extremely stiff on. Very rigid and has no give.
         
        01-05-2013, 06:26 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I never said that the horse needed all work and no play - but the OP read very much to me as the opposite as all play (riding) and no work (addressing the issues that are showing on the ground). Neither is balanced - and balance is what is needed.
         
        01-05-2013, 06:29 PM
      #10
    Yearling
    No, I would rather work than have all fun time. The last time I had a true day to myself as an all "fun" day was last summer after festival because I was burnt out and could relax that I could finally stop working.

    I am very work oriented. Far more than a lot of people in my eqeustrian team which I feel leads to other problems which is a whole nother ball of yarn.
         

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