Some people ask if I get bored of just doing dressage, my answer… no! They also ask if my horses get bored, obviously they can’t answer for themselves so I’ll have to answer on their behalf, but I’d like to think the answer is still no!
I try to vary their work as much as possible, taking them hacking, going to the beach, playing with poles and even when we’re not doing fun things, I like to think they’re not bored as we’re never just trotting around in circles.
Some of you may be aware that I used to event (seems like a lifetime ago now), but when I took the decision to retire my top horse from eventing, I just lost my mojo. I was never particular brave, (although I had just entered my first Advanced), even though I loved jumping the babies my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
The more stressage I did (yes I did used to call it stressage), the more I loved it. It’s only when I stopped eventing I released I was a bit of a control freak (which I wasn’t allowed to be when eventing, you have to leave the horse alone to work it out), whereas with the dressage I could be!
The more I progressed up the levels, the more I loved the dressage. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love producing the baby’s right from the start and seeing them grow but there is nothing quite like learning how to ride the Grand Prix moves (or attempting to) and “dancing” with your best friend.
I try and keep my horses work as varied as I can. It’s a little easier to keep the horses work varied when your eventing because you have three phases to work on, but with dressage it’s a single phase. So this year I took part in the British Dressage Combined Training series which was great fun, well so the horses thought. Me on the other hand, I realised jumping is no longer for me! Ozzie jumped a fantastic clear round and went on to win - I on the other hand definitely didn’t deserve the sash!
Anyway, getting slightly side-tracked there, variety is definitely the spice of life. Try and keep your horses work as varied as you can, you don’t have to be good at everything, but sometimes doing something different can be fun (for you and the horse!).
If you have any suggestions on how to keep the work interesting please let me know, I’m always looking for new ideas 😁