Sometimes when we get caught up in our training we can hit a glitch or two. It’s normal and it happens to everyone. However, glitches are not always a ‘bad thing’. But they do cause us to take a break from our normal routine.
The glitch I’m talking about today is one created by ourselves and our own time management. We all know ‘stuff happens’, right?
Well, I am a firm believer that we should make time for our horses and developing a relationship. But sometimes life throws us a curveball that can shift our routines and change our priorities. And when this happens it can also put a glitch in our training schedules and force us to take a break.
This week I’ve had my own glitch…
It’s time for Merlin to get gelded and this was the week he went to the vet. So that means a break in our training schedule while he recuperates.
He was trailered into the clinic on Tuesday and came home on Wednesday. He did great and is recovering well. The staff at the clinic was wonderful and took very good care of him, watching over him for the first 24 hours.
Now it’s my turn to take care of him and do everything the doctors told me. Which means a lot of hanging out, a little lunging for recovery, and no training per se. A forced break for the two of us.
I’m still spending time with Merlin, but it is in the capacity of nurse and friend and not ‘trainer’. We are having lots of down time together and I know he appreciates the extra TLC.
We had just started his new bitless riding program too, training to ride from the ground. He was doing great and we were really enjoying the games and exercises. But now we have to stop and take a break until he is physically ready to start again. I’m guessing… about a month.
Then with the holidays coming up and extra family events planned, this will take up more time and shift my training schedules again with Merlin. Plus know that when we have freezing rain and snow here in Maryland it impossible for me to get to the barn to see him. And winter is already here with freezing temperatures.
I feel bad about all the priority shifts, routines being upset, and time missed with Merlin. I miss him when I can’t get out to see him during bad winter weather. But I know this is also temporary and every chance I get to be with him, I’ll be there.
Part of me even feels as if I’m letting him down in some way.
I’ve heard this from other friends with horses as well when we have to shift our routines and change priorities.
Time management can sometimes be tough juggling our horses, family, friends, holiday events, even changes in weather. But it is just a part of life and sometimes it can be a blessing in disguise.
I’ve learned from the past that when these things happened that after I went back to my normal training, my horses not only remembered where we left off but they were better than when we stopped. They had time to process the lessons and were also eager to start again.
Just because we need to take a break from our normal training routine doesn’t mean that we are letting our horses down or that we are going backwards with our training. Actually, taking a break now and again can help the training process. It allows your horse to rest, think, and have some down time.
We all need that sometimes, right?
I’ll see how this break works for Merlin and how he is when we start our training routines up again. But I’m confident the time we’re spending together just hanging out now during his recovery will bring us even closer together. You can never hang out too much.
So when your schedules get moved around and for whatever reason you can’t spend as much time with your horse as you would like, don’t get down on yourself. You’re not letting your horse down or hurting your training progress…
You’re just taking a break.
And if you look at it as needed rest for both of you and a natural part of the training process, which actually enhances your training, then it will help your overall progress. So enjoy the break and know that it’s a good thing every now and again.
Stay positive and enjoy your holiday season with family and your horses. And as long as you keep communicating with your horse about the changes, I’m sure he/she will understand. Just as your best friend would.
Until next week, have a great weekend and Happy Horses!