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HI Spy: Time out of the saddle

How do you spend time with your horse when you can???t ride?


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Trick Training
Groundwork and trick training can be fun alternatives to riding or additions to your regular training routine. Photo: Leslie Potter
Most horse owners would love to ride every day, but sometimes life gets in the way. Whether your horse comes up lame, a bad stretch of weather hits or you simply don’t have time to commit to riding, sometimes time spent with your horse doesn’t involve getting in the saddle.

On the other hand, plenty of horse owners take on rescues that can only be companions, knowing they’ll never ride. Many dedicated owners provide their former mounts with a well-deserved retirement for years after hanging up their horse’s bridle for the last time.

What can you do with your horse when he can’t be ridden (or when you are unable to ride?) Plenty! Most horses love long grooming sessions, which also serve as excellent bonding time. Other horse owners find that the results achieved through groundwork are just as gratifying as mastering under-saddle skills. Others find that trick training is a great way to spend quality time together.

What activities do you enjoy with your horse when riding just isn’t an option? Click “Submit a Comment” below and share your thoughts. Some of the answers may be selected for a future issue of Horse Illustrated.

One selected response may be selected by the editors to win a monthly prize! If you would like to be eligible for the prize, please include your email address in the comment form (email addresses are not publicly displayed.)

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HI Spy: Time out of the saddle

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Reader Comments

Alaska    International

4/13/2014 8:13:16 AM

I rarely get to ride my horses because my grandfather has to be there to saddle them, so when I get to see them, my brother and I make "salads" for them out of the fresh clover and grass outside of the fence. We mix in sweet feed and put it all in a big bowl for them to eat.

natalie    loganville, GA

7/12/2013 7:33:14 AM

I love time in the saddle but when I can't ride I love to try to figure out new ways to braid Frisco's mane. It's just another way to pass by time.

Kylie    Waseca, MN

9/17/2012 1:13:51 PM

I love to groom my horses, and hand feed them fresh, green grass!

Julie    Fredericksburg, TX

8/23/2012 12:51:18 PM

I like to play tag, do ground work, games, and braid flowers into my donkeys mane and tail. It gives us good bonding time out of the saddle.

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