Research shows that any change, whether of a voluntary nature or enforced, leads to increased stress. Accepting that change is inherently stressful can be the key to managing it effectively.
A new horse
Why do we get ourselves into such a turmoil when buying a horse?
The easy answer is that we put the pressure on, subjecting our carefully chosen companion to our ambitions, our abilities and our previous riding history.
Take time to learn about your new horse, his capabilities and his character. If you’ve found that ‘trustworthy all-rounder’ you were looking for, don’t just assume you’ll be able to turn him into a Wembley champion – capitalise on his strengths and help him with his weaknesses.
Another thing to remember is if things don’t work out you can change your mind – two months or even two years later.
A new instructor
Learning to work with a new instructor is difficult. To establish a successful partnership we have to confess our ambitions, reveal our riding imperfections, and learn a new language of communication – one person’s ‘legs on’ can be another’s ‘don’t work so hard’.
It may help if you remember these points:
A new yard
When you change yards, smooth the transition with a bit of forward thinking. Misunderstandings can result from a lack of communication – with the yard manager or with the other liveries. So, before you move, it would be useful to clarify your expectations.
And if you do have to complain, make it a positive comment with the possibility for a mutual solution.
If you really don’t like the yard, leave – you’ll be unhappy and unpopular and the way you feel will affect your horse.