Getting Myself Out of the Box - Trying New Things!


I tend to be the type of person that sticks to routine, does what I have always done, and can be fairly predictable that way.  The proverbial “box” is very comforting and I don’t always like to go outside of it.  I have my favorite gas station, I like to groom my horses in exactly the same way every day, and you can set a clock by when I get up, get to work, go work out.  On the flip side, I like to remain as open as possible to ideas that may make my life easier and help my horses out.  Most of the time I’m pleasantly surprised, and I usually end up saying “I should have tried this sooner”.  


Case in point.  For years and years and years I worked with top notch dressage Olympians.  All horses worked in snaffle bridles, some in double bridles.  So, that’s what my horse wore.  Until I started exploring other disciplines, revisiting some disciplines from my past, and finding out what other people did (thank you readers!!) I was “stuck in a rut”.  I recently decided it was time to buy a new bridle, and I stumbled upon a bridle that could work with or without a bit.  Years ago I would have scoffed at such a thing, last week I was intrigued, yesterday I tried it out with a bit, and today I was bitless and I love it!  




Another case.  The bling.  When I grew up riding the hunters on the East Coast, it was tradition to the core.  In many ways it still is in the hunter ring.  Bling wasn’t even a word, much less a thing that you added to your polos, your saddle pad, your helmet.  Years later and *hopefully* much wiser I can say without a doubt that if I like it, I will wear it.  And so I do.  It doesn’t make me a better or worse rider, it just makes me happier to get dressed in the morning and head to the barn.  If you want to be seen from space when on the back of a horse, then do it.  




I feel the same way about Veterinary medicine and therapeutic care, too. My background in the sciences and past working in Veterinary medicine makes me a big believer in medicine.  But, having an open mind to also explore additional therapies to heal what ails our horses is fun and educational.  Because I also exercise daily in addition to riding, I understand the feelings that muscles and bones can give us after a work out.  Therapeutic treatments like chiropractics, acupuncture and massage all have a place helping athletes.  Both human and horse athletes.  The first time my horse had an acupuncture treatment I was totally skeptical, but turns out the falling asleep and drooling in the cross ties was just what I need to see to let me know my horse was feeling something good.  


What is something that you have tried with your horses that perhaps was “out of the box” for you?