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Help with training program, horse and I get bored


My horse suffered a bad tendon injury about three and a half years ago where he bowed the tendons in both of his front legs. Since then I have worked him through a training program to try and strengthen the tendons a number of times. Each time we have had to start from scratch again as he either managed to re-injure one of the tendons (never as seriously as the initial injury though) or I have struggled to find time to exercise him regularly.

Earlier this year we eventually finished the training program without incidence. I was planning to slowly introduce him back into his work when we were chased by a dog and as a result he was lame yet again. Since then I haven't ridden him. I'm aware that I'll have to start him on the training program again but in truth the thought of that prevents me from tacking up as after three and a half years of the same program I am, for lack of a better way of putting it "bored out of my mind".

The only area I have to ride him in is a dressage arena. I dare not wonder outside of my yard as the dogs in my neighbourhood are becoming a problem and I fear he'll be hurt again.

Do you have any advice on what I can do to make the training program more interesting to do? I would be grateful and I'm sure my horse would be grateful too as neither of us particularly enjoy circling around a dressage arena for an hour at a walk.

Thank you for your time.

Hi Kylie,

That's an awful story. I am so sorry. How frustrating for you and your horse. Well, you might consider getting a round pen. You can begin to play with him at liberty that way. Wouldn't you like to have a horse that is by your side anywhere no matter what else is going on? Also, training him to do a few tricks will certainly spark your time together. There is a world of horses that is beyond the human activity of riding the horse. It involves your relationship with the horse 'on the ground', which is where your relationship truly begins and really happens first and foremost. I know of so many fine riders who have have only a surface, 'riding' relationship with their horse and actually know little of the true nature of the horse. How about becoming more of a trainer for this horse (more of a horse whisperer)? Please consider the wonderful possibilities.

The games and exercises are too numerous to mention in a little email. If you would like I would be happy to coach you through a few to get you rolling. We could do this via the telephone if you like. I have several telephone coaching clients. It works, it is conventient and cost is about what a piano or riding lesson is.

Please let me know if you are interested. There is a lot you can do at the end of a long line as well. Sounds like you would pick this up quite easily too. Just let me know.

Sincerely, Franklin

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