Every equestrian has dealt with a lame horse at one point or another, whether an abscess, a thrown shoe, or a pulled muscle. And if you have yet to deal with this, you will soon enough haha. So in this post, I’ll be talking about things to do when you can’t ride your horse!
I personally have dealt with lame horses MANY times in my life. My first horse, Legend, was diagnosed with EPM after a lameness exam, blood tests, and X-rays. My current horse, Theo, finds a new way to come down lame every week it seems – presently, missing all four shoes *insert eye roll here*
I would say that I have firsthand experience on how to make barn time quite enjoyable despite almost never being able to ride. Here are things to do when you CAN’T ride your horse!
Watch a MasterClass!
Masterclasses are so helpful when it comes to improving your confidence, learning new warmup exercises, and more! I personally like the Noelle Floyd Masterclass.
When the pandemic first started and KY was completely shut down, I spent a good deal of time watching and studying the Masterclass, which was very insightful and I recommend that you do the same!
Improve your strength!
With the lack of riding time, it’s important to keep your strength in check. Continue exercising – especially your core muscles – so you don’t have any setbacks when you finally start riding again. There are plenty of videos on YouTube (I personally watch Pamela Reif) so give it a try!
I also find that exercising makes me happier… which might make up for the sadness you get when you open your vet bill invoice – just a tip.
Have a spa day!
Horses are animals who too, have a tendency to be drawn to mud – I’m sorry if you own a grey. Spend a day every now and then to get all of the dirt and mud off, trim their mane, polish the hooves, and just spend some quality time together! Always super nice if it’s warm out too!
Work on desensitizing!
This is the perfect time to work on fundamentals and bonding! If riding is an option, groundwork tends to get pushed aside; however, groundwork can be quite enjoyable for both rider and horse. I love to incorporate treats (hey, this relationship is a two-way street) which, to me, doesn’t make the work seem like “work”. Bring a plastic bag and a tarp and get to work!
Have lunch with your horse!
I actually did this recently where I ate my lunch in my horse’s field. I was at the barn for several hours, just hanging out, and let me tell ya: that was the absolute most peaceful setting. With my veggie sushi, chips, and body armor drink and I felt like I was living the good life. You should try it sometime!
And there ya have it, folks… things to do if you can’t ride your horse! It might seem dull, but when you can’t ride your horse, you begin to appreciate all aspects of horse ownership! And once you do get to ride again, I think you’ll still cherish the simpler moments with your favorite pal.
Be sure to let me know your favorite activities to do with your horse!
All the best,
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