It is the holiday season. A time of fun, festivities, family and frenzy!! Getting out to exercise our horses tends to get moved to the back burner during this hectic time. It is also the time when the weather is cooler and in Northern California, rain. So, let’s look at that combination for a minute… Colder weather + less exercise = trouble!
I have found over the years that the amount of riding accidents increases during the holidays in large part, due to the aforementioned and also because we are distracted and rushing. The old Kenny Rogers song The Gambler, goes like this; “Know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run…” http://www.jango.com/music/Kenny+Rogers?l=0
Don’t be a gambler when it comes to riding a high horse. “I have 30 minutes, I’ll just hop on.” Please, only ride if you truly have the time to work them down and cool them off properly. If you are able to give yourself the gift of time with your horse over the holidays that’s wonderful. If you are overbooked and stressed out, “know when to fold em'”. Consider paying a competent person to exercise your horse or if you have small windows of time available, lunge them or work in the round pen for a little while. Do your horse, your family and yourself a favor and don’t spoil the holidays by getting bucked off or by spending your time feeling guilty for not getting out to the barn. Making arrangements for your horse + making safe choices = fun holidays!