easy keeper horse
Horses, Every Day

It’s OK Not To Believe Everything

It’s OK to listen to everything you’re told, think about it, consider it, and decide if it’s something you have to adhere to.

Or not.

It’s OK to read, and do as much as possible to learn more, and it’s OK to ignore it if it doesn’t seem to be the right thing.  Or admit that right now, I’m not at a point with riding where I know just how to do it that way – and because of that, it’s not going to work.

easy keeper horse

-“Hi, I gain weight just from sniffing grass and eating acorns. What’s YOUR Superpower?”

It’s OK to see new methods, consider them, try parts of it, and then maybe move on.

It’s OK to hear, read and see things, and not believe in them.  We all know that, right?

It’s OK to not believe in everything.  Ooops, already said that.


Of all the things I don’t believe in, it’s that horses have to come to work in an exact, specific way, each time.  That they get confused if they have a goofing off day. The equine brain can’t get better credit than that?

Really?  Valegro gets confused when he hacks out with his older lady rider in the rain, and then Charlotte comes back and flings him off to the Olympics in Rio to achieve the ride record of a lifetime?!!!

Just checking.


Valiosa –  hanging out, just enjoying being a horse.  We all do this, and I know your horses get to goof off too sometimes.  Isn’t it great!?

ground work with horse

lunging bitless

For variety I sometimes handle her in just a plain drop noseband. Yes, variety is good 🙂

Have a wonderful week!

I’m back to riding, so hopefully she’ll be doing a little less goofing off now 🙂 .

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19 thoughts on “It’s OK Not To Believe Everything

  1. 1. The mare is definitely not overweight. She’s in what George Morris would call “good flesh”, which means a healthy weight, and I happen to agree with him on this point.
    2. Goof-off days are good. I have cut back my mare’s work from 5-7 days a week to 4-5. She has had a significant turnaround in attitude and does not lose a single thing on her days off. And one of those “work” days is actually just a trail ride…it also helps that she does not spend any of her days in a stall, but I realize that’s not practical for everybody.
    3. We’ve gone from fat snaffle in regular bridle to fat snaffle in drop nose bridle to curb and bradoon in double bridle. All this year. Depends on what helps her work better in any particular situation.
    So there–don’t let anybody bully you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yay Alli! I’m sticking to it!
      The countless equestrians that will preach about certain Do’s and Don’ts – sticking to it like a religion, and “Don’t You Dare to take a different path…”
      It’s tiring 🙂

      End of this month, I’m going to switch noseband. Just to be difficult! 😉

      Glad your mare gets to enjoy some Off days. Makes all the difference!
      OK, back to petting Miss Good Flesh tomorrow 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Most of them LOVE it!
      It’s become a bit of a sticking point for me, that I can’t do some hacking, (other than having a friend actually trailering us off the property for a real trail ride.) and it’s part of why I do some “off day” work in the arena here and there.

      Jumping and other stuff is not very big on my list, but I think my mare would get bored, sour, and stale if I just came out and did dressage day in and day out.
      Hester has the ticket 😉

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  2. Agreed! Round and round in circles is boring for horse and rider. Mix it up and play with your horse, you will both be happier and you risk fewer injuries from repetitive motion work, anyway. If you can’t hack out, then – yes, a little jumping, cavalettis, or just playing around hacking in the ring on a loose rein will not hurt and will likely help. Sometimes we have walk work days that I call “yoga for the horse,” where we focus on lots of stretching. What the heck, can’t hurt (I think), seems to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d LOVE to try out Walk Days only. Seen it done, and especially when a walk around the whole property is added, they can be really great.
      Problem for me with Valiosa is that she’ll completely fall asleep, or get dull. That sort of work instantly pulls out some type of “draft mentality” in her. I’m waiting for it to change, maybe next summer. For now, whenever I try it, it’s a snooze fest. Squirrels can attack and run through the arena and she doesn’t care. (Seriously!)

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      • Try changing what she is doing every 4-5 strides. Shoulder-in, haunches in, straight, half-pass, halt. Walk, repeat, etc. Keep asking her to shift her balance and she has to stay attentive. I have had plenty of lazy horses (though Star is not). The important thing is not to get into shoving or pushing. Keep your aids quick and insist on a response (ha ha, yes, sounds easy). If she gets dull, suddenly ask for a canter or a trot, doesn’t have to be pretty, but needs to be a sharp response. Then back to the collected walk work. Surprise, Valiosa, you never know what’s next!

        Liked by 1 person

        • ALL correct!
          I tend to get so sucked in to the fact that she’s not 100% straight or stable in the neck and bla bla bla and then we are half way around the arena again. Expecting more attentiveness is the key, of course. So haaaard! (Whine, whine…)
          Oh, and heh, we’re SO not half-passing yet. I love it that you think we could!
          Monday morning ride – we’re going to have a “wake up” ride!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Of course you can half-pass. Can you do haunches in? Start with that. Half-pass is simply renvers on a diagonal line. Do it at the walk so you have plenty of time to think about it. Three steps half pass, then leg yield back three steps, repeat. You keep the same basic bend that way. Good for keeping them attentive.

            Liked by 1 person

          • We’ll try this. Sometimes-pissy-gray mare thought my attempt at Travers was insulting today. “Stop-and-buck, or no, perhaps I’ll-canter!”
            We went back to Fake-Shoulder-In.
            Tomorrow I’ll test your renvers-leg yield!

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  3. Glad you’re back to riding! Re goof-off days, my Stella gets more goof-off days than work days, and she improves every ride. When I try to work her too often, she gets bored and naughty. Mind you she’s a pony, so she probably tends toward naughtiness more than a horse would, but it certainly made a world of difference for her attitude when I started giving her more play days 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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