There Are No Rules

We are all products of so many things. The school systems we were a part of. The cultures we grew up in. Our particular family unit and dynamic and what that created for us. And all of these things inform how we approach things.

The same is true for the schools of thought that we were introduced to when it comes to working with our horses, and even how we approach a singular session together with them.

For many riders I work have an unconscious map of a training session that follows along a very similar line. It goes something like this:

  • {Optional} Ground-work/ in hand work / lunging
  • Get on and warm up
  • The training from this point follows a very linear path than becomes increasing challenging as the session progresses
  • Session ends and we cool down

It also tells us that if we get on, we stay on. That if we find something too much and have to stop, that’s the end of it. That working on the ground is somehow inferior to the work that we do in the saddle.

I know this because I work with people that feel like they have failed if they have to do any of the above, or aren’t at the point where for whatever reason, their work together with their horse doesn’t involve ridden work.

So let’s lay it out there. There are no actual rules. With the exception of needing to make sure your horse is physically prepared for what follows, a session can look however you want. However. You. Want.

You can get on, and if that’s not working, get off again.

You can just work on the ground.

You can start with in hand work, move to under saddle and then go back to in hand.

You can take long rests.

Training shouldn’t be an endless endurance test. There are peaks and troughs. Rest and activation. And we need to participate actively in both.

Onwards.

❤️ Jane

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