Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Importance of Stable Management

Every season at North Shore Equestrian Centre there are 4 weeks where we give our horses a break from the daily lessons and students come in for non-riding lessons instead. These weeks are called Stable Management weeks and these lessons are very important for the well rounded rider to have.

Stable Management or Horse Care lessons help to promote good skills for riders off the horse as well as gives riders the chance to ask questions and review the things they don't normally have a chance to go over at their weekly riding sessions.

It is important that we recognize that horses are not machines, and that it is good for them to have regular weeks off during the year. Sometimes we might forget that horses are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses and personalities just like us. And just like us, horses need a break from time to time from the daily grind to relax, chill out and just be lazy to help keep them refreshed and happy.

NSEC firmly believes that we owe it to our hardworking school horses to work as hard as they do on a regular basis in order to learn skills that will make their jobs easier as well. Riders need to understand that they are working as a team with the horse every time they ride. Stable Management lessons will help to achieve the best knowledge possible for riders to be able to work together with the horses they ride. These lessons will include things that may not seem as important to the actual riding involved with the sport. However, as with any sport or hobby, it is best to always remember that to truly advance and master the sport, you must start by mastering even the most basic fundamentals before you can move up skill wise. 

It is important to remember that even if a student has gone over lessons in previous stable management classes, they don't always get to practice their stable management on a regular basis with the instructor there to correct them if they aren't doing something right. So although a student has learned the theory previously, they will need to go over and practice the same things in future lessons in order to truly master them on an ongoing basis. 

Basic stable management covers much of the following:
  • Parts of the horse and how they all work 
  • Recognizing various breeds, colors and markings of horses
  • Recognizing unsafe situations and what needs to be done to correct them
  • Recognizing and understanding horse behavior 
  • Learning how to handle "grumpy" horses in a calm and safe manner
  • Haltering, leading in and out of the stall safely and removing the halter without help. 
  • Tying a quick release knot correctly
  • How to fully groom and tack up properly with little to no assistance
  • How to properly clean tack after lessons as well as put the bridle away in a "figure 8" fashion

More advanced students must be able to demonstrate all of the above without assistance if asked during their stable management lessons and ongoing stable management lessons cover much of the following:
  • Take apart the bridle and put it back together
  • Know how to cool out their horse and the importance of doing so after their lesson
  • Understand the basics of feeding
  • Recognize signs of lameness or illness
  • Identify types of bits and why each one is used
  • Understand the use of "specialty" tack items such as boots, polos, side reigns, lunge lines

1 comment:

  1. Such a great piece. You can learn so much about the horses you ride and about riding generally by spending time around a horse grooming, tacking up, walking a round, asking questions and just being around a horse on the ground. We are so lucky at NSEC to have the knowledge and patience of those who know way more than we do. Don’t ever look at “stable management” as a chore. It is a critical part of being a partner with any horse. Thanks for this!