We've all encountered those days, weeks, months or even years where life holds our riding back. Sometimes you are just busy, sometimes you have other priorities, and sometimes you just don’t have the desire to make the trek to the barn. Getting out of this slump and back in the saddle can be difficult, especially when the enjoyment of riding doesn’t seem as compelling as it used to be.
Quite often, equestrians get so wrapped up in making progress, competing, winning and being “the best” that they burn out, losing their passion for riding. Try to remember the joy and excitement you had when you started riding and let yourself enjoy the ride rather than trying to achieve perfection in your horse and yourself.
If you always do rail work when riding, try changing it up and use trot pole patterns, take a ride out of the arena or even try learning a new discipline. Following the same riding routine can become boring. Trying something new can help to restore some excitement.
Even though riding alone can be peaceful and relaxing, it can get lonely. If you regularly ride by yourself, try riding with a friend or even a small group. Friends can help lighten the mood and bring laughter and fun to an otherwise routine ride.
Sometimes the best way to enjoy riding is to simply spend more time with your horse. Try some bonding exercises through groundwork and grooming. Learning the ins and outs of your horse’s personality on the ground and in the saddle can make riding more enjoyable. This is especially true if you haven’t yet built trust with your horse.
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