The Rarely Ridden Horse

Rarely ridden horse. When I saw that description in the title of an online training article, I knew this was one piece I had to read! Especially as I head into yet another long, cold, wet Winter season.

While during six months of most years I am generally able to ride my at-home horses at least twice a week, the other six months I either don’t ride at all or inconsistently at best. Winter weather and the resulting footing conditions make it painful and/or downright dangerous for me to ride.

For a basically half of every year, my horses match the description of the “rarely ridden horse.” I hate that it is so, but it is a reality for me as it is for many others.

Your circumstances may be a bit different than mine. Maybe your work or school schedule keeps you out of the saddle. Health issues, family commitments and financial issues can all interfere too.

And let’s not forget the horses themselves. Sometimes due to age or certain physical conditions, it is not advisable to have our horses on a more traditional riding schedule.

Long story short, for whatever reason, we don’t give our horses the consistent riding that we would otherwise like.

The full title of the training article that caught my eye is “The Rarely Ridden Horse: Use these five strategies from our experts to keep your seldom-ridden horse tuned-up and connected with you”. It appears online at the Horse and Rider magazine website.

Whether or not you personally employ the particular training techniques/philosophies noted in the article sidebars, the ideas in the main text are flexible enough to allow riders to relate the spirit of the text to their own style of horsemanship.

Riders can utilize the article as a game plan to better structure and organize the precious few times they are in fact able to ride or do groundwork.

I also have to say that I just really like seeing this topic addressed. I don’t see it written about very often.

Most training articles come from the perspective of a rider/trainer who lives in an area with mild year-around weather or who has easy access to facilities that mitigate weather conditions like indoor arenas or outdoor areas with good footing. I think they forget that not everyone has these advantages that allow for a consistent riding schedule.

I also venture to guess that most are written with the assumption that the rider is working a younger horse who is sound/healthy. And yet, how many of us have horses who are older with at least some physical limitations? I have three of those right in my own backyard.

Sometimes I even think what I am reading in the articles would be damaging to my horses, considering their age/physical issues. I worry about folks, particularly those newer to the horse industry, being encouraged to push their horses past their limitations when they don’t realize the article wasn’t written with their twenty-two year old mount in mind.

Long story short, so many training articles just don’t address with any scale the realities of horse folks like me.

Nonetheless, I am still out there with my horses. I want to learn, grown and stay active with them, even with and within my personal limits and situational limitations. Even if it is not as often as or to the extent that I would like.

The article gives positive, realistic suggestions on how to do just that! So refreshing!

Do you too have a “rarely ridden horse?” If so, you can read the article for yourself here:

https://horseandrider.com/western-horse-training-tips/rarely-ridden-horse

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