By Elizabeth Sousa
As equestrians, I think we can all agree that there is just not enough time in the day when it comes to spending time with our horses. Often times, we get to the barn, tack up, ride, un-tack, then leave, headed to wherever we need to go next. It feels like a blur where one second you’re clean and the next you’re at the supermarket with hay in your hair. Sometimes, it’s just good for the soul to decompress and just spend time with your horse that isn’t focused on riding.
One way you can spend quality time with your horse is just by grooming them. A lot of
times, grooming ends up being quick so you can hop on for your lesson. This is the perfect time to really curry your horse to bring the shine out in their coat, getting all of the itchy spots that they can’t reach themselves.
With Summer upon us, the weather is perfect to catch a tan and to let your horse get a
nice snack. You can explore the property and find where the best grass is while still getting some exercise. The great part about this is you can rope in your friends to join you and not only do you get time with your horse, but you also get time with your barn friends.
Find a safe, enclosed area that your horse can be off the lead-rope, and just let them play. You can get a yoga ball for them to play with, some traffic cones, or even a tarp for them to step on. This isn’t only fun but a great way to desensitize your horse in a safe environment for one that can be a bit silly.
Yes, you read that right. Read to your horse. If you find that the barn is quiet, grab that book you’ve barely had time to pick up and get reading. You may feel silly, but in the end, your horse loves you and just wants to be with you, no matter what you are doing, so hearing your voice can help them relax and they may even fall asleep. Audiobooks are also great, especially if you don’t have the time to read a physical book, but have enough time to groom.
Riding is certainly a huge aspect of why a majority of us are into horses. We take lessons, go to horse shows, go on trail rides, you name it. But at the end of the day, we stick around because of the partners we have in this sport. Sometimes, you just have to hang up the bridle for the day and just give your horse a hug.