My mare has done a lot in her lifetime; mini prix showjumping, dressage, foaling, and now back in the showjumping ring.
While it’s important to keep show horses in a regular workout routine, it’s also important to get them relaxed and out of the ring. Your horse should love their job and you don’t want their sourness to the ring getting in the way of that.
Especially after a hard ride, I love to take Honey out of the ring to stretch her muscles, relax, and get used to being ridden outside the confines of an arena. Plus, it’s a great way to continue to build your relationship with your horse…after all, a horse and rider’s success is based on mutual trust as a team.
Still worried? Think of it this way: if your horse doesn’t get used to being ridden outside of the ring, you can’t blame him/her if they act up while riding them on a show ground.
Always trail ride with a buddy, or at least a cell phone, and always be sure to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Safety first!
After riding for 17 years you begin to pick-up certain theories or philosophies about horses and what brings out the greatest potential in a horse.
I’ve ridden in the western world racing barrels in Colorado, dabbled in the dressage world doing low level tests and local shows, and spend my junior career in the hunter and equitation world traveling to every fancy show I could afford to go to or had the time to work off. It wasn’t until my junior and senior years of high school when I found the aspect of riding that I really loved. Aside from flying over fences, I loved figuring out why horses did what they did and working with them until I could figure it out and calm them down enough to become the pets that show horses inevitably become (whether or not we admit it, they are our oversized dogs who get treats when they’re good and baths with perfumed soaps when they’re dirty).
Broken down, my philosophy is simple and it’s entirely based on trust. You and your horse must become a team and in order to succeed in any team you must trust your teammate. I was always told riding was an “individual sport” but that was wrong. Riding is most certainly a team sport and requires the highest amount of trust between its members.