I’m looking for a benchmark for what’s appropriate after a conversation with my trainer that left me worried I’m overdoing it. I ride my horse six days per week for thirty minutes at a time. We have a regular twenty-minute warm up routine that he can do on autopilot. For the last ten minutes, we canter cavaletti that I set up differently every day and we practice counting strides and adjusting to bigger and smaller canters. Neither of us works up a sweat. The cavaletti are set about eight inches off the ground. On Saturdays, we jump full courses of eight jumps set between 18” and 2 feet, but otherwise it’s the same routine every day.
Anyway, during a lesson, my trainer had us do something over cavaletti and we kept screwing it up. I told her I’d work on it every day that week. She just offhandedly said that I should be alternating flat work and not doing these exercises daily so I’m not jumping the sh*t out of him. I should have clarified with her then, but I had never thought of 8” cavaletti as jumping. I didn’t want to say anything at that point because I was embarrassed, and obviously I can’t change the past, but we’ve been drilling over cavaletti almost every day for six months. It never occurred to me that it was racking up wear and tear. Of course I switched to ground poles after this conversation, but my horse finds them so unremarkable, he just trips or shuffles over them. I feel like we aren’t getting the same value out of the exercises—and between that, and my own guilty conscience—I guess I’m looking for an outside POV on how frequently I can use the cavaletti. Is my trainer being too conservative? On a scale of 1-10, how irresponsible was I being? Not that it’s productive, but I’ve been ruminating all week in my guilt. Maybe it’s a catholic thing.