I just looked at photos from my last show, and my horse sure looks grumpy! He's a very solid citizen and does his job well, but I can't help but feel that he is getting bored with it.
I usually ride him in the ring and walk him around the paddocks afterwards. We also have a small field that I could utilize. I just feel like his ears are never forward anymore and thus he must not be enjoying himself (I'm pretty sure it's not a physical problem).
Any thoughts of ways I could change the routine up to bring some spark back to my horse?? He's making me feel bad
My horse got the same way, and I just got banned from the sand ring unless I'm lessoning! Find other places to ride, the field, around the paddocks, wherever as long as its not inside the ring. Use hill work to keep him in shape, but convince him it's not really work by throwing in some hand gallops, real gallops and popping more "fun" jumps aka logs etc.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. Explore. Dream. Discover.