Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's A Hard Knock Life

Currently the Princess is in full time training which is four days a week with Trainer#1.  Even though I have started taking lessons with Trainer #2 and I don't have a contract with Trainer #1, I wanted to do the right thing and give 30 days notice.  So the pony is getting ridden by Trainer #1 on Mon, Tues, Thurs and Friday.  She gets worked pretty hard in those sessions.

I am now taking weekly lessons on Thursdays and Trainer #2 is encouraging me to ride as often as I can, even if it's just for a few minutes.  She's really stressing the importance of coming to the barn often and that the more I throw a leg over the pony, the easier it will get.  I totally agree.  However I don't want to overwork the pony and have her get sour about working.

I've only ridden in one lesson and then one other time so far because I'm worried about pushing the pony too much.  She's only been in work for the last six months and in serious work for the last three.  Because I lunge her before I even get on, she's a hot, sweaty mess when I am done riding.  My schedule is similar to my trainers in terms of the easiest days for me to ride are Mon., Tues, Thurs and Friday.  I am going to ask Trainer #2 about this today but I'm wondering what you all think?  Do you give your horses a day off?  Do you go see them on their day off?  I live about thirty minutes away from the barn so though it's not super far, it's also not just a quick jaunt to check on her.

Thankfully this is a temporary problem that will resolve itself November 14th when Trainer #2 is done riding her.  I'm not sure which is a bigger problem, how to not overwork the pony or what do in mid-November when it's going to be ALL ME!!  I suppose that's when the questions will start getting answered is when I'm doing all the riding.  And getting answers is always a good thing, even when they're not the ones you expect.


  1. I think a three days on, one day off or five days on, two days off schedule is good for horses that are in heavy work. If a horse is in light work, fewer days off are fine too. I wouldn't worry too much about her getting sour, so long as the work is interesting and varied - if her mind's engaged, she won't be bored. That said, if turnout is limited, then days off can be hard on the horse if it's confined to a stall.

    My horses live at home, so I see them every day and usually multiple times a day, but when they were boarded I usually checked on them on their days off - but that depends on distance and your availability.

  2. Moon has no schedule; sometimes he works for 14 days straight with no breaks, sometimes he goes 3 days and gets 2 off. Sometimes 6 days with 1 off. For me, I ride as often as I can and only don't ride when something else comes up (like an appointment, travel, overtime or birthday party). He's the kind of horse that NEEDS to burn energy and riding is like physio for him (he's a bit tense).

    And I'm gonna agree that the more you're just ON your horse (or at the barn) the more you'll discover it becomes second nature. I used to get pretty nervous and anxious when heading out to the barn. I thought it would always be that way. Even while tacking up, my hands would be shaking and I'd be dry mouthed (I couldn't even click my horse forward!). After one month of regular riding, the drives out are now me daydreaming about what he'll be like in the ring today, or how he looks romping in the field. It starts to feel natural and you get sooo used to their antics that you're looking forward to them. Because if you got through them yesterday, you'll get through them even better today! : )