Monday, March 14, 2011

Goal: Relaxation

One of my major goals during the competitive trail ride season last year was to have John pulse down (reach a resting pulse of 44 beats/minute twenty minutes after completing a 25 mile ride). This was our great struggle on our rides and instead of getting better as the season wore on, he got worse. At our last ride, he would not settle down and his final pulse was a 60. Finally, ten minutes after his pulse check, he urinated for about ten minutes and calmed down.

I have been so focused on this one goal - pulsing down - that I think I missed the forest through the trees. My goal really needs to be relaxation. If he relaxes at a ride, at the vet-in the night before, stabling (whether inside or outside) the night before and stays relaxed through a ride, I might have an easier time getting him to pulse down.

For those of you that have met John, you know this is going to be a challenge. Sometimes horses do take after their people. John is a high energy horse who is always on the go, ready for the next thing.

I'm starting slow. Relax, we are headed to your stall, put your head down and chill. Relax, I will give you your grain, but put your ears up first. Relax, we're going to start the ride, but lets stand here and look around first. You get the idea and based on the pictures from last year I have included, you can probably figure out that this is going to be a work in progress too!


  1. Relaxation is a good goal. Glad to see you riding again. It was a long winter. I'm treating my winter blues with my indoor vegetable seeding. Hugs, Cola

  2. Sounds to me like BOTH of you need to practice those relaxation techniques *grin*. I'm betting if you did those relaxation/deep breathing exercises "together" you'd see a huge change in him. I've noticed I tend to cause the Girls to tense up when I'm in a hurry or worried about something that has nothing to do with them (we're very tuned into each other, so every little thing matters).

  3. You hit the nail on the head Jen :) Thats what I meant when I said "Sometimes horses do take after their people." Hopefully we will both figure it out this spring!