Assuming that your horse has absolutely everything he needs (food, bedding, a warm stall, plenty of blankets, and a pasture mate he neither humps, maims nor gets abused by), what does your horse need to be the best version of himself?
I honestly believe that in order to be her best self, O needs time to be a horse. A big part of this is that I’m a fan of her living outside as much as possible. It means that she gets endless turnout, time to be with her horse friends, and the opportunity to be moving constantly. It’s a perfect fit for her. I could count on one hand the number of times my horse has seemingly been upset to be turned outside into her field. Usually she speed walks beside me to be turned out after our rides, and frequently my trainer comments that she is the happy, playful one out in the field. When she is stalled I noticed a huge difference in her attitude and in our rides.
I do tend to feel guilty when I can’t be out there all the time, but along the same lines, I do think that she needs time off to be a horse. I don’t usually worry if I miss a ride here or there, but rather think of them as mental wellness days for her. She seems pretty happy with her days off, and I think she’s a better ride when I can be there because she’s had some time to relax.
However much I train her, she’s still an animal and deserves a chance to be one.