Considering Eli had not been ridden much over the last three weeks, coupled with the unseasonal weather, he came out just a *bit* fresh yesterday night, which meant more walking than usual, among other things.


He certainly felt A-OK. Rather than pick a fight about attention span and channeling energy, I took Eli to the round pen for part of the evening and he showed me a big, boisterous trot. I finished with hopping back on him and walking a lot more, with a little bit of trotting that felt much more relaxed than 20 minutes prior.


I think I handled his extra energy in as fair a way as possible. I had been hoping for a light hack, but the horse needed something different. Horses adapt so well to so much of what we ask of them, that I don’t mind adapting to Eli’s energy level and allowing him to work through it rather than trying to exhaust him or package him up into a ball of nerves. And when he offers me the few minutes of relaxation I’ve been looking for, I stop there. Tomorrow is another day.

So when you’ve got a little more horse than you bargained for, what do you do to address it?

12 thoughts on “Fresh

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  1. I usually take advantage of the extra energy! Drifter is a…minimalist, shall we say?…when it comes to work. If he’s raring to go, I generally work on something fun but forward, whether it’s an interesting/tricky ground pole exercise or just going for long trot and canter sets. If he’s really fresh and distracted, I usually go with a ground pole exercise that gives him a job to focus on.

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  2. sounds like Eli is feeling GOOD!! a little extra energy is great when i can harness it and put it to work. sometimes tho ya gotta just let the horse burn it off as they will….

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  3. I used to be of the get-them-tired-when-they-are-fresh mindset, but the other day my 4yo mare (with fewer than 30 total rides) was a nut on the lunge line so I opted to just walk a bit and if she felt calm enough add some trot in. She spooked at dirt, so I think the calm happy ride was the far better option. It really depends on the animal IMO. My 9yo gelding will be looky and fresh until he has cantered for 10 minutes. Nearly all the time after he canters for a bit he’s as calm as any other day.

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  4. I do basically what you did. I put Val on the line (where he knows to be polite) to let him just move around and throw a couple of bucks. Without the pressure of a rider, he gets all the goofiness out of his system, without having to pick a fight. Then I hop back on just to end the whole day with some correct moments under saddle and call it a day.

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