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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
You know it has only been in the last couple of years or so that I have had other people to go riding with. When I was a kid I craved riding companions and had all sorts of imaginary friends. But just lately I have had few too many riding buddies.

Things have kind of become a problem because a couple of my friends are returning to riding after many years and are unconfident. Also dare I say it trying to ride a little too much horse for their riding level at the mo. A couple of mates are on young green horses. The thing is my mare has quickly gained the reputation for being a very calming influence on flighty horses. Of all my riding friends and their horses Phoenix and I are the only ones that everyone can ride with, with no dramas. Phoenix has gotten along with every horse I have put her with. An example of some of the issues is two of my friends horses both get along with Phoenix and get jealous of each other if either one gets too close to her. Which makes for a difficult ride for one of my friends because she is nervous.

So now I am finding myself in the ridiculous position of trying to manage a riding roster to fit in all my wannabe riding companions. What really sucks though is that while my horse is great as a calming influence on other unruly horses I am finding that in all this babysitting my own horse is developing some bad habits. I have been looking at the posts that I have written since I started on this forum and my progress is going backwards. Too much time worrying about other people getting tossed and not enough time working on my own horses manners and to be honest it makes me sad. I do love to ride with others and don't want to hurt anyone feelings but this constant pulling for my riding time is doing my head in!
 

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Depending on how sensitive your potential riding partners are, you may not be able to pare down your list without hurting someones feelings.

You may have to decide which is more important to you: control of when and with whom you ride, or hurting peoples feelings. Until you decide that, you will be stuck - and chances are you will start to resent the people who want to ride with you, rather than get to enjoy them.

Personally, if I saw a backslide in my horse, I'd be very tempted to take a few weeks off from all companions (so no one needs to take it personally :wink:), and let everyone know you need to work one on one with your horse for a while.

Then, once you've had some space and a chance to get Phoenix back on track and behaving the way you want her too, you might be able to decide which friends are really the ones you want to ride with again.
 

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may not be much help for the main issue, but I do have one suggestion..maybe at the least you can set aside a slice of time just for you and phoenix and no one else, and explain to everyone that you do like to ride with friends, but also want some time to ride alone?
at the least that might help part of the problem..and if people aren't getting the time they want with you and complain, you could just explain to them that you do have a lot of people needing your help..and that you have your own goals that you want to work on as well..or something along the lines.

hopefully others have more suggestions..best of luck to you :)
 

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Have specific "training rides" for just you and Pheonix. Let your friends know in advance and stick to your guns. Maybe suggest to them that they use those days to work on specific things with their horses by themselves? Oooo, this is probably a dumb idea but it popped into my head, so what the heck. Designate a day or two that's personal training day (or whatever you want to call it) everybody works on their own with their horse on whatever issues they have. Get together and talk about it that night. Everybody might end up learning somethings. Also if the others are as nervous as they sound it might do them some good to have some one on one time in a "safe" area with their horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input you guys. I think I am going to get up very early a couple of mornings each week and do my schooling then. A lot of the difficulty comes from just general life, if you know what I mean, we are all trying to get out and ride on days off, trying to balance the needs of our families. If I get my schooling done and out of the way first thing then I will feel a lot more relaxed when I get a phone call from a friend saying she doesn't have the kids for an afternoon - lets go for a ride.

I think I am also going to have to toughen up on some of my mates and their riding. They are either going to have to put the time into their horses so three or four of us can ride together or they are going to have to ride on their own. I hope that doesn't sound too hard. I am certainly willing to help and give advice but ultimately there are things they have to do for themselves.

Thanks for letting me vent!
 

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that sounds like a good game plan. good luck with it! :)
 
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