This is a bit of a tricky question for me to answer.
The shortest version is ‘hanging out’…but that doesn’t paint a very clear picture for you.
It does, however, illustrate the point that although I make my career in horses, compete with horses and professionally train horses…
…my favorite part is still simply being with them.
To get even more specific I’ve narrowed it down to two examples.
I really enjoy going for a trail ride bareback.
It reminds me of growing up, of riding my pony and then my first horse…and everything that was magical about my childhood.
Plus it reminds me of The Black Stallion books:)
But I also really like listening to horse chew hay or grass.
I find it strangely satisfying.
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Grooming. Just me and my horse in the barn, in the quiet and to just be with her. Not grooming to get ready to tack up or grooming quick before I go do something else. Just brushing her and breathing in her horsey smell – In no hurry at all. sigh, heaven!
I love to go out to the barn and just sit and watch my 10 year old Quarter Horse. My fiance purchased him for me a few years, well he rescued him. This poor boy was severally abused and neglected and we made it our goal to spend as much time with him and to give him the care and love he needed. I am happy to say that over the last 4 years he has gain 350 lbs and his navicular is under control. He was put to work at a very young age and our goal has been to ride casually on trails and to just love on him. I see why horses are used for therapy because as a meeting planner in the Washington DC area, my job is very stressful. I just wish he could talk back, lol. However, when I am at the barn I forgot about all of that stress and I am solely focused on Beckham. If I could spend everyday out there with him I would.
At the barn at feeding time – love hearing the crunch.
Just in general spending time working with my horse is great, whether it’s on the ground or under saddle. I love feeling that she’s really trying to please me, and that she’s paying attention to me and the lesson I’m trying to get across to her. I also love spending time riding bareback. I feel like I can connect to her more than I can with my saddle.
When Pompera first came to the barn, she was pretty shut down and stayed at the back of her stall. I started getting her from her stall, grooming her, talking to her, feeding her treats and putting her back in her stall without working her. gradually she took more interest in things beyond the back of her stall and started to engage more. She is so personable and fun–better than when she came, but just as calm as before!
When Pompera first came to the barn, she was pretty much shut down. So I would bring her out of her stall, groom her, talk to her and give her treats, putting her back into her stall without working her. Gradually she became more interested in things beyond the back of her stall. Just being with her is calming. She’s rock steady and unflappable–usually much more calm than me!
Sorry for the duplicate!
I LOVE to trail ride with friends. We enjoy the drive to our trails and the fun of chatting and riding on the beautiful trails here in Oregon. Our horses seem to love it as well. My horse isn’t real fond of arena work, but enjoys getting out on the trails and spooking at everything he sees just to keep me on my toes. To me, one of the best things about owning a horse is riding with friends.
I also like to just hang out with my horse. I’m content to just be nearby while she grazes or snoozes. I also love walking together – sharing a purpose, being attentive to each other, trusting each other. Grooming is also good – it’s satisfying, builds trust, and helps me get to know how she looks and feels in detail – but unless she’s clearly enjoying it, it can feel a bit “busy” and one-sided by comparison. As for riding – I love tackling challenges together, being able to feel a horse’s movement, fine-tuning my communication, feeling the freedom riding brings, and exploring our potential as a team. It’s very good for me both physically and mentally. But for the best quality time, there’s nothing like being able to see your horse’s face, watching how s/he prefers to move, looking at obstacles from the same level, and doing things side by side (or nearly).
I really love camping with my horse. Because I board my mare, I do not do the daily feeding etc., but when camping, I get up in the morning, feed, muck paddock etc.. I love to hear her nicker when she sees me. Of course all the great trail riding we do when camping is wonderful.
My favorite way of spending time with my horse is haltering her and letting her graze. I can just sit on the grass and relax to her munching.
Riding, riding, riding and then I like to ride. I also have a boy that is amazing at Liberty.
My favourite thing is hanging out. When I go to feed them I will just sit and watch them eat. Sometimes especially in the spring I will break out the brushes and groom them.
Riding on trails in the mountains. So beautiful & peaceful. I live in central Illinois which is know for being FLAT ! So its a real treat for us when we can make a trip to ride in the mountains
Riding is always right up there on my list of fave things, especially riding alone listening to the sounds of nature and hooves, soaking in the wonders around us, but just hanging out with them, watching herd behaviour and just “being” with them is about as good. It’s my prayer time, my solace time, my recharging time.
I LOVE just watching him in a herd, and I LOVE watching him eat his supplement and/or getting a bucket with water and some hay and just sitting with him while he dips his hay. I also love grooming. I find it so relaxing and grounding.
I really love just watching them. I love the all antics my younger gelding does, and how much my old gelding puts up with. Waiting to see what they’re going to do after a good roll, hopefully a brisk chase around the field, with some bucking and kicking out. It always makes me stop in my tracks and enjoy they’re excitement for a few moments, then I’ve got to give the instant replay to my boyfriend.