You’ve worked extra hard towards accomplishing a goal- be that a competition, proving yourself in a clinic or lesson, finally struggling through trailer loading practice, and more. And after drilling yourself and your horse through the exercises, you’re ready for a mental break.
So what do you do?
Do you unwind with a trail ride? Ghost your horse for a few days? Break up dressage with a little jumping? Or what?
For me, trail riding generally induces clutching the saddle in a fetal position, or reaching for the nearest bottle of wine. And with eventing, it’s hard to just walk away for a few days and sacrifice any loss of basic fitness (more so in myself than the horse!). So my mental relief for myself and my horse tends to come in the form of stretchy days. Basic suppling exercises in dressage make me more calm with their repetitiveness and knowing that they are easy to accomplish for both of us, and of course the horse gets the benefit of stretching their topline and loosening up his back. If we get bored, we throw in a cross rail for fun, but typically nothing more. It’s just a fun, low-key way to take a step back for us.
What about you? What’s your way of taking a step back from the daily grind? What do you find to benefit you most? What does your horse most enjoy?