One of the most frequently expressed emotions I hear from my clients is guilt. It often involves guilt over not doing enough with their horses. So many times we hear that if you don't work X amount of times per week with your horse you won't make any progress. I take huge issue with that for a few reasons.
The first, is that I think it assumes that goals are the reason to spend time with your horse. They are not. Relationship is a better reason.
I also think that many people undervalue what they DO do with their horses in between "working" them. Simple interactions to feed, fly spray, clean a hoof, are still moments of relationship. Outside of that, we have so much power over a horse's routine, we can make HUGE changes thinking thoughtfully about how they socialize, when and what they eat, what their environment is. That is a huge part of what I am interested in in my horsemanship. What changes can I set up in between my scheduled riding time?
And lastly, I think it's totally ridiculous to think that we can't make changes working with our horse once every couple weeks, especially when we consider that other stuff I mentioned above and if they have a high quality of life on their own in between (and you, too!). Quality is so much more important than quantity. A horse is not dumb. They are perfectly capable of remembering something for a week... if you are! I don't ride my horses every day, but they certainly make progress. Of course, daily time spent makes relationship and progress build faster in calendar days, but the trajectory is the same.
Most of us have horses only for fun and companionship. For those, there are no prizes...so who cares what you get done and how fast you do it? Maybe just pet your horse...they are so cute!
Below was my evening ride tonight. I hadn't touched pip in a "formal" way since the last time I posted a photo of her. And she was decidedly better than the last time I rode her. Neither of us had forgotten each other.