I’ve been really struggling with recovering from some bruised ribs – three weeks seems like it should be plenty of time to mend, but apparently no one told my ribs that. 😉
There are so many things I need to be doing, both horse care and horse training related, but I’m only able to do the basics of keeping them fed and healthy, and even that still is requiring a lot of help from my family.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles with something like this. We all go through seasons when our horses have to take a back seat. Maybe it’s our own health, or the health of a loved one. Maybe it’s a new job, or a big project, or a move. Any number of life events can take our focus off regular training with our horses.
And that’s okay.
Your horse doesn’t mind. As long as they have food and friends and the freedom to do horsey things together, they’re happy.
Your training won’t be set back. Your horse will remember everything you’ve worked on, and they’ll even think about it while they’re off. I’ve often found that after a winter layoff my horses come back in the spring with a more solid understanding of what we were working on in the fall.
They might lose fitness, but you can minimize that by allowing them as much turnout with their herd as possible, and muscle memory will mean that they will recover their previous fitness more quickly when they return to work.
And they’ll have time to heal any niggling injuries you might not even know about, and destress and really relax if they’ve had a busy show or training season. Time to just “be a horse” is invaluable.
Take the time, and don’t feel badly. Just be with your horse if you have a chance, and don’t feel guilty that you aren’t “working” on anything.
There is always another day, another year, another show. You’re doing what you need to right now, and your horse, and your goals, will be there when you’re ready.