I’m feeling a lot better now but there was a point a few weeks ago where I was thinking, ‘What if this is my permanent level of health? What do I do about my horse?’ Now I’m seeing significant improvements in my health l think the reflections below are hopefully not likely to be relevant to me but I thought I’d share them anyway.
With the clarity that comes from being mostly alone with one’s own thoughts for long hours, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up my horse. I am lucky that he’s on full livery and this year, weather permitting, they have some turnout every day so if I can’t get there I know he’ll be ok.
But what about riding? What if I can never expect to trot or canter regularly? Surely it would be unreasonable to keep him? But I want to keep him… Could I keep a horse that I only rode in walk?
Well why not? Since getting to know Lee Pearson a bit I’m a lot more aware of para-riders. It occurred to me that in a world with walk-only dressage tests there might be plenty of precedent for horse owners who were confined to walk.
Assuming I was careful with myself I could still lunge him in trot and canter, and I know on his reduced work regime he’s trotting and cantering more in the fields when he’s out. If he didn’t seem happy with that pattern of exercise l might have to consider finding someone to make a regular arrangement with for them to ride him – l couldn’t afford to pay for him to be ridden regularly long term.
l decided I could give him a good life still even if it wasn’t exactly what I’d chose in an ideal world. And I felt this sensible and respectful horse would look after me and keep me sane and safe.
But what would we do together in walk?
l googled for schooling exercises that can be done in walk and didn’t find much of any use. I think there must be loads that could be done in a walk-only work-out. To quote Lee Pearson, “Walk is a working gait; it’s not a coffee break!” So my next post will be about my ideas for schooling in walk, because I bet someone else will find it useful sometime. I can’t be the only one wondering what they can do to put variety into an all walk schooling session.