Friday, March 18, 2011

Good Habits

" Dusty & Me "

I thought I might list the good habits I use to counteract my (sometimes) bad habits from my last post and perhaps to redeem myself somewhat.  

·      There has never been one time that I did not wear a helmet when riding a horse.  I’ve never let anyone on the property not wear one either.
·      I’ve always worn the proper boots when riding, a tall boot or paddock boot with a heel for safety’s sake.
·      I’m obsessed about having the gates to the roads/driveways shut and secured.
·      There is always the possibility of startling a horse so I always let them know I’m coming into their stall by speaking to them first. Or when they are on cross-ties I’ll let them know someone is behind them etc.
·      While riding I will always reward my horse for doing the right thing.  Usually by patting the neck gently or rubbing the mane with a verbal “good girl/boy.”  One of my pet peeves is watching someone who just had a good ride over a course or in a dressage ring slapping the crap out of their horse’s necks.  This isn’t a reward to me; it’s a smack.  Standing as a spectator during a show, a young girl was next to me and asked me why the riders were “hitting” their horses; “were they being bad?”  This statement brought it home to me how we must look to “uneducated “ horse people.
·      I’m diligent about checking out my tack.  This includes proper fit for each horse and cleaning it on a regular basis.  Having had a rein break loose from the bridle over a jump once and a stirrup disintegrate another time, creating a dicey situation, it’s in my best interests to check my tack for wear and tear.  You’d be surprised at how stitching can breakdown and it’s something not many people think about before mounting.
·      I feel if I wouldn’t want to wear a dirty, sweaty blanket why would my horses want to wear a filthy saddle pad, sheet, cooler, wraps or blanket.  So I do try my best to keep them clean.  Although, some of our better mud rollers make this a real chore.

What are some of the good habits you use around horses?

Until next time
Quote for Today
May your belly never grumble,
May your heart never ache.
May your horse never stumble,
May your cinch never break.

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