I usually longe or work in liberty in the round pen with horses if they have had some holiday.
Like now, when I was sick and haven’t been able to ride Morfeus in two weeks. Especially when I have a young horse that has not had so much experience yet. This way I avoid conflicts that might come when the horse has excessive energy and wants to move a lot and might not be that motivated to focus on the things I ask.
So the first day after a holiday I longe the horse and do some ground work if needed to get the horse listening me. The next day I might also longe before riding if the horse is quite young, inexperienced or I know that he might need it to concentrate better.
When I have an older horse I know and have been training for a longer time, they might not need this. Usually it’s better be safe than sorry so if I’m in doubt I will longe.
It helps with the cooperation because a horse is in a better mindset when we really start working.
So yesterday Morfeus and I got some liberty work done in a round pen. We also used Equiband to help activate the right muscles. Maybe today I will ride if I have time.
In western riding this is used a lot. In dressage I have heard a lot less about it. Works in every discipline of course!
So, instead of having hurry to ride after a holiday, maybe some ground work in the first day will save you from troubles with your horse!
In the picture is the mother of my new baby horse Riio a couple of years ago in the round pen doing liberty work with her owner.