Holidays for Horses?

I'm leaving tomorrow for Alberta - one of my favorite places in the world (also where I bought Rogo). I'll visit my very good friend Verna. I stayed with her when I was out there horse shopping three years ago and that's the last time I've been out for a visit - too long. She's been to visit me since then thank heavens.
Her niece Sarah checked Rogo out for me (she's an equine grad) and she got married today!
Anyway, we'll go to Banff and I'll get to sit in the hot springs and stare at the Rockies, which I find almost spiritual. Also, since the weather will be gorgeous out there this week we might go camping in Verna's funky little Bowler trailer - eating, red wine, outdoors - perfect!
My one concern is that Rogo will be off work for over a week. Doug will longe him for me a couple of times, but that's it. Unfortunately poor Cheryl broke a rib, so I can't get her to ride him while I'm gone.
I know I read about people giving their horses training breaks when they're coming off of a tiring show season, etc., but I know nothing about it. My experience with Rogo having breaks has been awful. He was off for a month twice and three months once in his first year under saddle. Every time he was off we pretty much had to start from scratch again. Now I'm scared for him to have down time, even though I know the work is better established now and also a week + isn't a month. It might be good for him? Wishful thinking?
If anyone knows about philosophies on training breaks I'd love to hear about it.
On a different note there are at least 7 or 8 dressage clinics in our area in the next month. This is amazing! We're a small Province where dressage is a developing sport, so it's very exciting to have this breadth of opportunity. I hope lots of people come out and take advantage of the great opportunities. Not sure if Doug and I can fit it in, but we're looking at our schedule and budget. Also, should I wait until Rogo is more established in his contact before taking him to his first clinic? I've haven't ridden in a clinic before.


Anonymous said…
I have been hemming and hawing on the clinic topic as well. I'm not sure what the answer is. I think no matter what as long as you pick a clinician that you know their background and their teaching style is what you agree with, then you will get something out of the clinic that could make all the difference in one aspect of your training.
Have fun in Alberta:) That's where my girl is from as well!
I like to audit clinics before I decide to ride in them, but most clinicians here come around a few times a year. I don't know if you have that option. A good clinician will be able to help you with establishing the contact, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Have fun on your vacation! I visited Edmonton, Alberta once, in January. It was..... memorable. I've never seen so much snow or been so cold in my life! I should have visited the hot springs, I suppose.
Valentino said…
Hi Carol-

I took Val to a clinic (Eric Herbermann) on the third day I owned him. We had ridden a couple of times at that point.

The clinic had been planned long before buying Val, with the idea that I would ride a school horse. Although I was pretty intimidated, it turned out to be a wonderful experience.

Auditing is very helpful and less nerve wracking :). My clinician came highly recommended by my trainer who attends his clinics as well. I guess some research would be in order.

Safe travels!
Carol said…
Thanks for the feedback. Appreciated and good points. I know several of the clinicians either from RIDERS (our dressage club) or by reputation / recommendation from my teacher Cheryl. After reading the comments I feel a little more like it would be okay to ride. Ironically I audited the bigest name coming and have no interest in riding with her.
BTW, I'm sitting in the bar at the airport in TO enjoying a glass of Shiraz. Life is good :)
Achieve1dream said…
I don't think you need to wait until he has contact better to go to a clinic. If you have the money I say go for it. Hearing something from a different person and perspective can be so helpful! There are so many ways to say the same thing sometimes it takes a while to find one that clicks. That's what I always loved about my trainer. I haven't ridden in a clinic either because of money and didn't have a horse for it, but my friends that did it (who were very beginner) were worried they wouldn't get their moneys worth out of it because they were so new, but they did!
Oskar said…
I hope you have a great time!

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Jan said…
Carol,Your vacation sounds wonderful! And I hear that Banff is spectacular! I hope you enjoy every minute.
About giving Rogo a break- it sounds like just a small break really. Not like the month-long breaks of the past. And you are now much more capable and skilled with him than in the past. You will be much more competent to handle it if he should forget a few things. I'll bet a week off will be a good time for you and Rogo! Enjoy yourself!