Can horses have off days?

Coblover63

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15 September 2012
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Bridgnorf, innit!
I've had my traditional since he was 11 months old and he is 7 now. He's a friendly and placid chap and I love him dearly - he's my pony of a lifetime, my "one". I've done all sorts with him and broke him to drive earlier this year, which he took to like a duck to water. I'm a happy hacker (aged 53) but earlier this summer I decided it was time to hone our limited skills in the school so we have had a few 45 minute lessons. Nothing too arduous as I'm still working on my own fitness levels but my nemesis - jumping - has been introduced and he seems to love that! He has been fab and I've really seen great results as he is softening in his bridle, bending better and is generally more responsive under saddle.

He didn't get ridden over the weekend, which isn't unusual but in today's flatwork lesson - for the first time - I felt there was something missing. Everything required a little more effort than usual, even in just walk and although he did do everything that was asked, without argument, he just send very "Meh!" about it. Can and do horses have "off" days without them being ill? This is the first time I have felt him be like this. I'm not expecting him to be a machine, obviously. Do I just chalk it up to experience and hope for better next time?
 

MuddyMonster

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22 September 2015
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1,055
Yes, I think they can - whether that is because there is something minor going on physically that soon sorts itself out or mentally.

If he was mine, I'd keep a close eye on him & investigate further if it continues.
 

ponies4ever

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14 April 2014
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384
mine normally has a slightly 'off' day after a day off. she's ridden six times a week and is fairly fit but i think not doing anything but sit in her field and then coming back into work the next day is the equivalent of a monday morning for her! she's always a little lazy so i don't do anything strenuous on those days. she is then very regular for the rest of the week.
 

skewbaldmillie

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10 April 2014
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332
Yes! You never know if they haven't slept well or are just not having a brilliant day etc. You've just got to work through them as well as you can and look forward to your next ride
 
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