While we all try to be consistent with our riding and training, life gets in the way, which can result in our horses having extended periods of time off work. The question is - how do we bring them back to work and how do we know when they are ready to ride?
I used to always say that a horse would remember 80% of a 'well-learned' lesson for 18-months if left to its own devices and not taught anything to un-train that lesson. I still believe that it's true but perhaps it's even an underestimation in terms of time.
This is great news if you've found yourself too busy to ride for a while! People often think that they need to go back to the beginning when their horses have been off work for an extended period but I find just the opposite is true. It's been my experience that horses benefit from such time off (assuming the lessons have been positive and engaging) and almost always come back to work 'better' than they went out.
Of course, we need a plan to bring them back - one can't just saddle up and ride off into the sunset, that wouldn't be fair to horse or rider!
The quarter horse in the photograph was started under saddle, with a few short rides, and turned out for a year. I recently brought him back into work using the Kandoo Equine Ready-To-Ride Checklist and I'll tell you more about that next time.
In the meantime, I've added a new module to the Kandoo Equine Online Training System, Case Studies, and this will feature particular horses being taken through a series of lessons. This horse features in the first such Case Study - 'Bringing a horse back to work after a break'.
Have you got a horse, that has been off work for an extended period of time, that you'd like to bring back into work? If so, tell me about that horse in the comments.
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