Do you have a pre-ride ritual? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-10-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Do you have a pre-ride ritual?

All of my barn buddies have learned the fun way that I take AGES to tack up. If I see a friend at the barn and ask if they want to ride, most of them will go get lunch or run home to grab something while I start my 'process' of getting ready to go out. I call it my ritual, and I would just feel weird if I didn't do it. Do you have a pre ride ritual?

My ritual includes:
1. Walk up to Sawyer and say hi, show him some pony love with pets and kisses, then clean anything in the stall that can simply not wait until after my ride.
2. Halter him up, brush him, pick his feet.
3. Check for any soreness, swelling, discomfort, ect.
4. Do a quick 'lunge' on his lead line just to be sure that he is moving well and doesn't seem stiff or short.
5. Fly spray his body, use fly repellent wipes in his ears and on his face because spray bottles will KILL him if they get near his face.
6. Check all tack thoroughly (we had a horrible tack failure accident that lead in a horse being put down at our barn recently). Pull on everything, check for dry or cracked leather, be an all around paranoid freak.
7. Saddle up. This sounds simple, but I manage to make it a chore. I put the saddle on and cinch it up half way, then send him on a quick lunge on the lead to see if I would prefer it further up/back. Adjust and repeat.
8. Bridle. This is the only no fuss part of the whole deal. Just have to make sure he doesn't try to eat the rubber bit protector thingers.
9. Stretch all of his legs, especially the front so the cinch doesn't pinch whatsoever.
10. Polo wraps... my WORST enemy... I get so OCD about them, I do each one about 4 times before I deem it acceptable. Luckily I only do front legs. I really should buy the veltro type ones, but I enjoy the 'art' of having perfect polo wraps!
11. Check cinch. Get distracted. Check it again. Run to grab something I forgot. Check the cinch again incase I imagined it the first time. Mount.
1. About 30 minutes later, and I'm ready to go, that's IF my horse has been our within the past 3 days and doesn't need an extra 30 minutes in the arena to get all of the pent up energy out.

Does anyone else have a slightly ridiculous pre-ride ritual? I know I'm not the only one .. If you think this is bad, my post ride ritual is even more intense
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-10-2013, 08:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Lol I don't know if my routine is as detailed as yours, but I do have my routine.

1. Give my horse a peppermint and a kiss.
2. Put his halter on and put him on cross ties.
3. Pick his feet.
4. Sweep up the hoof pickings.
5. Curry him.
6. Brush his forelock and mane. I only brush his tail if it has just been washed.
7. Sweep up again if need be.
8. Put his polo wraps on. They have to be perfect too, otherwise I have to re-wrap him. Lol
9. Tack him up. This is a project because his saddle has to be perfect.
10. Put his bridle on and off we go.

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post #3 of 23 Old 05-10-2013, 08:51 PM
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Lol, you sound like me-- i really do have OCD.

I cant go out with a saddle- i have to just jump on and even then i brush the hair perfectly -- it drives me insane when i brush the back and it goes directly to the hundquarters- i brush that all then realize i didnt brush where ill be sittin good enough and re-brush.. hair goes to hindquarters-- brush it off again.. still too much hair where i sit.. repeat few more times- brush flanks good-- brush legs- pick hooves- comb mane and tail-- gotta look good on the trails. then we go out.. this takes about-- anywhere from 20-45 minutes..

If i tack up i will spend hours tryin to place my saddle perfectly -- i know its in the right spot but i cant help but second, third, and fourth guess myself.. sucks!

Oh then i check the bridle and make sure the bit is over the tongue- chinstrap is not too tight or loose- browband is in correct position - headstall aint too loose.. reins gotta be untied then i tye them when i get on and- yes! ..they have to be tied with the leather flat- not twisted..

Last edited by toto; 05-10-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-10-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Detailed or not as much, we all have our rituals :)
I love using mine to get an idea for how my horse is doing, what kind of mood he's in, and just a little bonding. I love hearing other people's rituals
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"Putting pads on a gaited horse is like putting a mask on a beautiful woman."
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-10-2013, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Georgia USA
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I guess we all have our get ready rituals.

I give my horse a treat. Put on the halter. Lead her to the get ready place. Brush her. Check feet. Fly spray. Bridle. Facemask with ears in the summer. Saddle. I partially tighten the girth. Wait. Check it again. Wait. Check it again. Put on helmet. Lead her to mounting block. Get her lined up just right. Mount and go.

I thought this OCD quiz was fun. I failed it miserably.

OCD Screening Quiz (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) - Psych Central
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-11-2013, 12:38 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Louisiana
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Brush, check feet, check teeth, inspect for wounds, fly spray, brush again, tack up, fiddle with tack, fiddle with tack some more, mount up.

The mane and tail must be impeccably brushed and silky smooth so that it flutters when we run. ;)

When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure. - Peter Marshall
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-11-2013, 12:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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A six'r , a prayer, and hope to keep my language PG. just kidding.... Well kinda....
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-11-2013, 12:51 AM
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Well, it's a while now since I was at a yard, but that is an interesting question. I think the answer is that whether I am at a yard or now at home, whether I am spending an hour grooming and tacking up, or 5 minutes slinging tack on; the important thing is to zone out of the distractions and check whether the horse is physically and mentally ready and safe to ride.

When I rode out with friends most days, I still 'withdrew' into my space for a short time in order to check that I had done my jobs correctly, and that my horse was well.

Mistakes and accidents only happen when you allow distractions to overcome preparation.

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-11-2013, 02:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Kansas
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I take forever, too! I CAN do it in a really short time if I absolutely have to, but I much prefer taking my time.

1. Fetch Brandy out of the pasture or stall and love on her a little.
2. Walk around the barn a couple times in each direction without touching her lead rope or anything, just cuz. I don't really have a reason for that... I just do it without thinking about it.
3. Tie her up in the cross ties.
4. Groom with various brushes, And yes! I do that brush the back, then the hindquarters, then the back, then the hindquarters thing. lol Ya gotta get it just right.
5. Brush her super long mane and forelock. I usually condition her hair, too.
6. A lot of times I clip her muzzle or bridle path here to keep her looking trim.
7. Pick hooves. (And in the summer or when it's dry, I treat them.)
8. IF I saddle, which I don't more than half the time, I spend forever getting it in just the right spot. And the blanket that goes over her saddle pad is too long so it's kind of a pain in the neck.
9. Take her for a walk a couple times around the barn, to make her let the air out of her belly so I can tighten the cinch.
10. Tighten it again.
11. Bridle her.
12. Check the girth again and mount up! Then I usually get right back off again to get my helmet that I forgot.

I wonder why my riding instructor always says, "Just do what's absolutely necessary, please! You can mess with the extra stuff after your lesson."

What extra stuff?

**I must not forget to thank the difficult horses, who made my life miserable, but who were better teachers than the well-behaved school horses who raised no problems.**
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-11-2013, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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hmm, i get the tack all out, have a smoke, then get miover, give him some loving, quick brush, tack him up, have a smoke, then walk him in hand for 5 to 10mins cos he puffs out, then i get on, other wise he fidgets and gets agitated,

after i ride, i untack, put it all away, i get hose ready, get grooming supplies out, take miover to wash bay hose him down, then i wrap hose back up, then lead him back out to grass, i then water scrape him, then pick his feet, curry comb then brush and brush tail and mane, then i leave him there to stand for 10 mins for him to fully dry, then i either put his day rug back on or just put him back naked in the paddock
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