Friday, October 31, 2008


I was thinking about this the other day as I was in the truck on the way to a lesson. After ten minutes of staring out the window contemplating horse things, I promptly fluffed my jacket up as a pillow, contorted my body so my upper half was laying on the seat, and fell asleep in about 5 minutes. Before I fell asleep, my mom commented that I was taking "The usual pre-ride nap."

You know what? She's right!

Before damn near every clinic, lesson, or show, I take a nap. The drive is usually 15+ minutes, or early in the morning, or both; add this to the fact that I've got the ability to fall asleep anywhere at any time in about 5 minutes, and I take a lot of naps during horse-related activities. I also can often be found taking a nap in the truck between rounds at a show, or during the lunch break.

It chills me out. I wake up relaxed and - well, awake, which is sometimes not how I feel when we hit the road!

So what are your rituals, pre-ride or otherwise? Is your horse in on them? Did your horse start them? ;)


20 meter circle of life said...

I love this. I have to have checked and re checked every item and made a show menu. But my biggest ritual- Putting on mu signature shade of MAC lipstick just before I head down center line!! I make my Hubby carry it for me, I always have bad rides if I donr have my lipstick!

ImaBronsonBear said...

I have only one comment - WHY CAN'T I FALL ASLEEP IN 5 MINUTES???!!!!! It takes me about 40 minutes to fall asleep at night. Naps? Totally out of the question. *sigh*

As for rituals, i always pick out my horse's feet after i work. No matter where we go, or what horse i ride, whether we've ridden on gravel or not, i always do it afterwards. I know you're supposed to do it before you ride, but my pasture has absolutely NO rocks in it (i should know, i've walked practically every inch of the 4 acres), so it's pretty much impossible for them to get anything in their hooves besides dirt.

Beckz said...

I don't have any rituals, sad one eh. I do sleep alot at shows though. I was woken up by a lady laughing at me because I had fallen asleep in a folding chair under a horse rung.

Leah Fry said...

I don't show, but my pre-ride ritual is making a conscious effort to release any nervousness or tension. Depending on the severity, I take deep breaths or sometimes I sing to my horse. Usually, it's Christmas carols, because you can't be tense while you're singing Joy to the World. Seriously.

Sydney said...

I worry if I fall asleep something is going to happen or i'll miss a class in a show.

As far as rituals, the brushes I use and the order I groom in for various times of the year. Winter and spring I use a shedding blade because it either sheds hair, gets dirt off or fluffs up slicked down hair from sweat/snow.
I always pick feet in a certain order, ALWAYS. Indigo is so good at it now if I don't pick her feet up quick enough she holds them up and starts like searching for my hand.

By the way, did you read my bit about beet pulp and hay and fiber content? It's like three posts down I think.

mugwump said...

How about pre-show rituals? Pace, fret, worry, visualize, pace fret, sleep, worry I won't hear the alarm, get up, pace fret, worry. Load tack myself. Check it, count everything, check again.
Load the horses myself, check the tack again. Drive off. Panic, sure I've left something.( am on about 2 hours sleep out of the last 24)Stop. Check the horses, check the tack.
Drive off again, cell phone rings. I've left my daughter, and both dogs at the barn. Sigh.

J. Hatchett said...

Well my pre class ritual involves walking. Well before my class, and before he needs groomed for his class. Fame and I go for a walk, all over the ground. We are both gonna be all stressed and hyped up. This gives us some decompression time.

Jocelyn said...

I have lists, that I meticulously check off as I pack things. Then while at the show, I am nothing but a bundle of nerves, so it's pace, go to the bathroom,pace, go to thebathroom.
And Lip gloss, I can't go into the ring without lip gloss or chapstick.

ezra_pandora said...

Yeah, I don't show or ride anywhere but at our boarding barn, but my ritual is to groom my girl, put her saddle one and then brush her mane while I wait for her to breath out some air (haha) so I can tighten the girth more. Then after we're ready to go ride, I always take her out to the arena and walk her over three poles to make sure the cinch isn't pinching anywhere. I don't know if either of those two rituals actually helps their purpose, but just something that I don't have bad luck riding since doing. :)

Anonymous said...

I have to stretch before every ride. It's become part of the regular pre-ride routine. My mare is stretched too!

Cara said...

when I bought my horse in 1993, his owner told me he loves to have his face washed with a damp cloth. I do this every day, except when it is too cold. then I use a dry one. A clean one every day. If I dont have a clean one, I pull my sleeve over my hand and use that. He loves it. If I forget, he is fidgity for grooming.

Whywudyabreedit said...


I am with you, sometimes I feel like they are better off with a protective pack of dirt in their hooves depending on the terrain. Rocks collected along the way can come out when you get home.


Just yesterday I put gloves on my two year old geldings ears and sang a Christmas carol =)


Stretching, check. Probably the best tip yet. I used to be in the habit of stretching after each ride. Both me and my horse. That horse is now leased while I am back in school. Nothing to ride now, but that doesn't keep me from stretching. The older we get the more key it is to maintain some bounce and limberness.

Related Posts with Thumbnails