Ricky and Tony got home from being on the road and all of the horses started a little vacation. We believe strongly in giving the horses some time to recover physically and mentally after all that is asked of them from life on the clinic trail. The value of this time for recovery is even more important the younger the horse. Tony is only a long two year old now, so some time to just let down, get soft, fat and grow is vital.
As I grew up we really worked to keep our horses in regular work as we found they would really regress if given much, if any, time off. As I learned of the ideals of Ray Hunt I have come to find the value in really developing a foundation in my horses correlates to more horses that “vacation well”. We work to “go through the horses feet to get to his mind”, and as the horses get right in their mind it becomes less about hours on their back and more about quality when you are riding them.
As fitness is a huge part of good horsemanship it is also wonderful to give a horse a break from being fit and strong. The inflammatory process is a part of the muscular, skeletal and connective tissues development. A physical break from this process is healing and very beneficial. In the two months of Ricky not riding Tony he has really blossomed. He came home very strong and fit and as he has just been eating and being a horse, he seems like he has grown more muscle mass and seems to be about a hand taller.
Mentally allowing a horse to “just be a horse” is a really wonderful thing to be able to offer Tony. Our herd is packed with experience, miles, education and balance. Horses are naturally so kind and honest so adding the previously listed components to their way-of-being helps a young horses to learn and balance all day everyday just from being in good company. It almost seems that when a horse is turned out for a bit after quality and fair education they keep improving.