Something – anything – he doesn’t know how to do yet.
Your horse may be bored doing the same old ring work and might enjoy learning something new! Introduce him to some trail obstacles, try a new discipline, or learn a new skill like long-lining. I taught my horse (who is a dressage horse) to neck rein. My good friend suggested doing this and told me “you never know when this might come in handy!” Boy was he right! A few weeks ago, the resident naughty pony at our barn got loose while I was out on a hack. I was able to catch him and pony him back to the barn while exercising our newly learned neck reining techniques.
Take him swimming!
This is such an unforgettable experience. Make sure to find a suitable and safe spot and go with a friend or instructor. Even if he just gets his toes wet, take baby steps and make it a fun experience for both of you.
A hunter pace – one with a theme is even better!
Don’t worry if you don’t jump. Most fun hunter paces have optional jumps and space to go around the fences. I have seen hunter paces where costumes are encouraged, team outfits are popular and I even saw a local pirate themed hunter pace a few weeks ago!
Find a few songs that match your horse’s gaits – walk, trot and canter/lope.
Make a soundtrack for your ride, or even design your own fun musical free style! I love 80’s music (my horse’s show name is Back In Black after the AC/DC song) and really enjoyed riding to our new workout medley. My horse really seemed to enjoy the music as well. This can be a great tool for conditioning a horse too! Plan out how many minutes of each gait you need to do to match your conditioning plan, and work your soundtrack around your plan.
Have a friend or a family member who is an aspiring photographer conduct a photo shoot with you and your horse!
Sell your horse… to yourself
Write an objective advertisement for your horse, as if you were going to sell them. This is a good way to appreciate all the good qualities your horse already has, and also can serve as motivation for things you may need to work on.
Have a spa day!
Now that warm weather is here, devote a day to bathing, trimming, mane care, sheath cleaning, etc. Make your pony gorgeous, so he can promptly go outside and do this:
7 Super Fun Things to Try with Your Horse This Summer
- How to put together a Western headstall
- Horse of the Month: Dax
- Summer Fun! Swimming with Horses