Around the world people are finding themselves on lock down or even quarantine. Even for those of us not facing those restrictions it can feel as if life is on hold. Horse shows, parades and equestrian events are being cancelled all around the world. We should not wait until life is "normal" again to improve our knowledge and horsemanship.
We can still grow this spring. In fact, this is a great time to do that.
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to get out and spend time alone with a horse. There is no better way to build a relationship with a horse than to invest undistracted time in that horse
This is a great time to work on training your equine to be light and responsive to cues. This young rider spends hours each week training a pair of donkeys to make perfect partners for him.
Great equine photographers find that their knowledge of horses grows with the time spent waiting for that perfect shot. Even if you cannot get out and practice your photography this is a great time to research and study the technical aspects of photography. This great picture from Everyday Photography shows the result that such study can produce.
You can also use this time to learn entirely new equine skills. When one considers the cost of horse ownership people rarely think about the cost of good hoof care. Young people who learn natural hoof care not only can make owning their own horse more affordable, they often can earn money by trimming hooves for others. It takes years of study and experience to do so, but Pete Ramey's book on natural horse care is a great place to start.
If horses could tell people what they need for people to do in this time of uncertainty and confusion I am pretty sure that what they would want each of us to do is to grow. We all need to grow in our knowledge of natural horsemanship, natural horse care, and natural hoof care. We all need to grow in our knowledge of riding. But there is one last thing that horses need for people to do.
They need for us to grow in our level of physical fitness. A strong, balanced rider is much easier for a horse to carry. An aerobically fit rider whose stamina allows for longer riding sessions is much easier for a horse to carry.
One does not need a gym membership to grow in strength, balance, and endurance. One does need dedication and discipline to do so.
Make this spring the time that you grow in knowledge, understanding, and physical fitness.
And by next spring you will see that your enjoyment of horses has grown like a weed.