It is not uncommon for the Dressage horse to become bored with its daily routine and as a result become stale in the arena. If this happens, it can be very difficult for you to motivate your horse to work well for you. To stop your horse from getting into this mindset you should allow him time in the field, on the walker, grooming etc, have some quality time with him outside of the arena. Where possible, you should follow your schooling sessions with a small hack, somewhere safe where you can allow him to relax down and enjoy the environment.
Here’s what to do … to spice up your horse’s life if you feel he may be getting stale.
- Do some in-hand desensitising work, flappy bags, tarpaulins, umberellas, flags, flowers. You will need to ensure that your horse can cope with all of these when you get to national level competition.
- Set up some poles and/or cones and work around and through them
- Put some music on
- Pick a goal and achieve it. Ensure that you are both working towards the same goal and you are working together.
- Work with a friend. Perhaps run through some test moves and do a ‘pas de deux’
It is not a nice feeling when you know that your horse is not enjoying his work; when you have passion for Dressage but your horse does not, it is vital that you introduce something else to ‘pep’ your horse’s interest. If you don’t you may damage your friendship and that would be devastating.
This post concludes my Tipster’s A to Z. I hope you have enjoyed the series, now I need to get back to The Collective Marks series and finish the post on canter that you’ve all been waiting for. If there is a subject you are particularly interested in, please feel free to leave a comment on Facebook, leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crystal System is coming along slowly and will be released in book form when I will also be introducing ‘Crystal’ a cartoon dressage horse based on my own Lusitano mare! Lots to do, and all good fun!
Ride well and enjoy.
Patricia – The Dressage Tipster
And for your own motivation, I have written many, many posts … Here’s a small selection