I am going to be honest with you, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people don’t practice at home and expect great results at a show. No matter what kind of horse you ride, school master or not, you need to be putting hours in at home! Whenever you are in the saddle, you are practicing, learning, and getting better.
Even if you are out winning everything you enter, you still need to practice at home.
There is always something to work on! Until you get a 100% in dressage, always get perfect distances, and have a perfectly fit body and horse, you need to practice. You can always be a better rider and horse person, no matter what.
Even if you are not motivated, tired, or “not feeling it today” you can still do something with your horse. Hack, trial ride, go bareback, play a game! Time in the saddle is time improving something. You would be amazed at how much can be done at the walk.
If getting better isn’t enough motivation for you, look at it money wise.
Whether you ride your horse or not you are paying for several things:
- Equipment (even if you paid in full)
- Farrier and other maintenance fees
Board is x amount of money whether you are at the barn or not. You tack and equipment cost you x amount wheter you use it or not. Your horse will probably need to see the farrier, vet, etc, wether you ride them or not. Get your money’s worth and ride!
The great thing about riding horse is there is always something to do, learn, or improve. Many skills are learned through repetition and muscle memory. Doing your time in the saddle is worth every second even if its a bad ride.
“No hour of life is waited when it is spent in the saddle.” – Winston Churchill