What do you do to keep your pleasure horse interested?
We all know western pleasure is ridden in the arena at the walk, jog and lope. I'd imagine for everyone this can get a little boring (heck, this is why my mom won't go to shows with me 'just to watch' hehe it's a horse lover thing I guess to enjoy watching shows, she wouldnt understand)
So when you ride at home what do YOU do to keep your pleasure horse practiced yet interested with his job?
trail riding, dressage, barrel racing, etc. I want my pleasure horses to be able to do anything. I like doing dressage cause w/p horses get so used to walk, jog, lope, jog, walk that dressage switches things up for them an they have to listen to the rider and stop anticapating. =)
I like to ride in a snaffle once and awhile and do a lot of bending work and more forward rather than jog jog jog and lope lope lope lol.
I also like to make them all around horses, teach them trail, western riding, horsemanship, hunter under saddle, equitation. I think this way its not only exercises their mind and helps keep them from going sore in the show pen it also makes them broker. They get a chance to stretch out at a faster pace, even if they want to go slow I think its important to not always work at a trot and lope.
Trail ride, Trail ride, Trail ride. Works for sons pleasure horse.
In addition to trail rides, we also ride a lot of patterns and vary the pattern each time to keep it interesting.
I took mine over jumps, i rode trails alot, we did barrels a few times, some cow work even =] We even showed HUS for 3 months straight didnt even touch a western bit or western saddle to give him a break and let him have a bit of fun moving out. Once i put a western saddle back on him, he was 10x better then before. Just go have some fun =]
we do trail obstacles, we bounce from english to western, we do stops and backs, sometimes we go down the driveway.... whatever. I always practice in a snaffle. I only use the harsher bits for show or in a lesson under supervision. I have soft hands but I still would rather not "ruin" my horse by doing something wrong.
I also trail ride a lot.
I'd like to do hunter under saddle and western pleasure so I use both tack depending on my mood. :D I only ride my horse in a sweet iron/copper inlay dee ring snaffle becuase he is a baby yet (three years old).
I also like to ride with freinds, becuase it lightens things up and keeps both of us in good spirits. We usually laugh and tell each other what stipud things are horses are doing lately.
My freind and I are night and day; I like to do the pleasurse classes, nice and slow plus many of times I still get down about my riding, thinking I'm not doing a good job and what not. My freind is a dare devil and loves speed, she does a lot od cow and gaming things and she's always positive about her abilities so she encourages me to let loose and run eveyr now and again and I remind her of the importance of collection and training :lol:
When I'm in the arena I never ride on the rail, I try to do figure 8's, tons of circles, and as many patterns and obsticals as I can think up.
When I'm all done for the day my horse LOVES a nice cool shower (just water, when its warm enough of course). I think it keeps him shiny, his coat healthy, and he enjoys it. After his shower, I let him get a good roll in the mud or the black arena sand, then he is really happy!
Do you have any poles you could lay out? You can make all sorts of patterns, and the horse always has to focus on where he is placing his feet, while at the same time paying attention to your cues.
I do trail class, and although it is often at a trot or lope, the horses never seem bored because the pattern is always different.
i always change it up a bit. somedays ill do wp, some days ill do ep, some days ill do trail, somedays ill go on trail rides...etc.
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