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          8 good resolutions to make with your horse to get the year off to a good start

          Thursday, 8 February, 2018

          New year often rhymes with good resolutions. Now that 2018 is well underway, Seaver gives you some good resolutions to make with your horse to have a successful year!

          1. Spend more time with your horse

          Arrange to arrive at the stable earlier, and leave later. Staying longer at the stables before and after your session or lesson gives you plenty of time to prepare your horse, and then to unsaddle him without rushing.

          Not only will your horse benefit because he'll be more pampered, but your relationship will also improve. Listening to your horse is also very important. Getting to know him better also means being able to quickly detect the slightest problem, physical discomfort or change in behavior.

          2. Diversify your activities

          As far as work is concerned, try to diversify your activities, to break the routine and avoid boring your horse. Think of doing very simple things sometimes: a little trotting outside, a simple relaxation in the arena, or a work session on foot or in the open. You could, for example, try bitless or rope work.

          If you're looking for new exercises to do with your horse, you'll find plenty of ideas on theSeaver App !

          On a more extreme note, why not take your horse to the beach or go on a multi-day trail ride together? The need for performance shouldn't be systematic; sometimes you have to ask for little and simply enjoy the moment to have a horse that's in good spirits, not jaded by work.

          3. Setting goals

          In the same vein, set yourself goals to achieve with your horse this year. These could be show results to achieve, a new dressage trick to master, an obstacle height to jump, or simply to go for more rides, or to improve your complicity by working on foot.

          These goals should be realistic, of course (you can discuss this with your coach), progressive and fixed over time. They'll keep you motivated, since you'll always have your goals in mind, and enable you to measure your performance. A little tip: dividing each objective into several sub-objectives is a good idea if you want to see real progress, which for us is more important than the result itself.

          4. Cleaning leathers

          It's fair to say that cleaning your leathers is far from being the favorite task of any riding enthusiast. Unfortunately, if you want to maintain quality equipment that will last a long time, it's a necessary step. In addition to cleaning and preserving your equipment, it's a good opportunity to check that everything's in order (and thus avoid problems with broken stirrup leathers, horse injuries, etc.).

          Store your equipment in a clean, dry place, clean it daily with a sponge and glycerine soap, and do a thorough cleaning (removing leathers, soap and grease) once or twice a month is recommended. Taking the time to care for your riding equipment is a small change that will have a big impact on its lifespan (and on your bank account at the same time).

          5. Always ride with a bomb

          Safety is a key aspect of riding. This year's resolution (although we hope most of you are already doing it): always ride with a bomb, because accidents happen. Similarly, let someone know when you're going for a ride on your own. These simple everyday gestures can be very useful...

          6. Eliminate hazards

          But safety doesn't stop there, and as riders we also need to make sure weeliminate any hazards present in our horses' environment. Taking a look around the stable to make sure there are no forks or other objects lying around, walking around your horse's pasture/paddock to check the fences and make sure there are no objects that could injure him (a lost shoe, for example), are simple changes to make that will save you from a potentially hefty vet bill.

          7. Taking care of yourself

          A brief health point before concluding. It's often said that horse riding isn't a sport, but riders know that of course it is. Like any sport, it's important to 1) stretch well before a session to warm up muscles and avoid aches and pains the next day, and 2) drink enough water. Riders also need to think about themselves from time to time.

          8. Appreciate every moment

          Finally, one of the most important resolutions in our opinion, and without doubt one of the easiest to adopt: enjoy every moment spent in the saddle, take advantage of your horse and savor your relationship and the time spent with him.

          I'll see you soon,

          The Seaverteam