A little motivation to get us to Spring...
I don’t know about anybody else, but I find it so difficult to stay motivated throughout winter!?
Those 5:30am alarms, wet gloves, frozen fingers, lack of turnout and the issues that come hand in hand with that.
I do sometimes question my sanity whilst trying to defrost taps with boiling water and try to tack up when you can’t get the leather in the keepers as you suspect frostbite is kicking in.
Here are my top tips to stay motivated throughout winter, so throw away that drafted ‘For Sale’ ad and keep up the hard work, it will all pay off eventually!
1. Action plans! Look on Riding diary and plan some competitions, pleasure rides or events. There’s something on there for everybody no matter what level you and your horse are at. Personally, I think there’s no better feeling in the world than getting out there with your team mate, setting yourselves new challenges and facing them head on!
2.Keep a sense of humour. Let’s face it, if there’s one thing horses teach us it’s disappointment and how to be a good loser. I prefer to call it ‘character building’. You go to a competition after months of preparation, hours of training and you don’t even want to add up how much money you’ve spent, you warm up perfectly, thinking you’ve got it in the bag, only for your horse to spot the photographer just as you approach the last fence, game over and you’re usually eating sand. Don’t be discouraged, get back on, laugh it off and learn from the experience! If we were normal we wouldn’t be horse owners.
3.If your facilities don’t allow you to ride much during the winter find another form of exercise to take part in during this period. For me my horse, Rosie, is at peak fitness between November – March, after this I like to turn her out to grass for a few weeks to act as nature intended. I think I’ll appreciate the break but after 2 days I’m twiddling my thumbs and having withdrawal symptoms. So, I’ve recently joined a running club and entered a half marathon. I nearly choked on my protein shake when I discovered the price of this second hobby, £30…… PER YEAR!!! For us horse enthusiasts this is a foreign language. I encourage anyone to take up new hobbies, whether it be running, gym, dancing or trampolining! Get out there, make new friends and once those endorphins kick in I promise you won’t regret it!
4.Spend quality time with your horse. Take the extra time you would normally spend riding to groom and pamper your horse. Those heavy winter rugs need to come off to allow them to have a good itch. Or failing that tidy out those dreaded tack boxes, you never know what you might find hiding in there!
5.Keep your energy levels up by eating well. Try some new recipes, make big batches and freeze some, this will save you time between working and mucking out. Plus, it will save you money in the long run and we all know us equestrians need every penny we can get!
6. Research your horse’s health. Whilst the weather puts us all on hold spend some time researching feeds that would benefit your horse and look into worming. We provide Health plans that provide all the routine care for your horses and ponies, have a chat to us about that. And remember, we are always available at the end of the phone should you need any advice at all regarding your horse’s health care.
7. Reward yourself! Keeping horses is hard work. Don’t feel guilty about indulging in what takes your fancy!
And finally, when the weather or illness’s stop play, rather than dwelling on the fact you feel you’re not progressing as you should be, accept what it is, take a deep breath and enjoy the down time. It’s a given that Winter will turn to Spring and Spring to Summer and we’ll be hacking in the sun, spending long days at the yard and complaining it’s too hot!