Weather Is Changing
Finally, around here the weather is starting to act like spring. This is the first week of the spring session in my program. When the weather gets pretty, this is when those who haven’t hit the barn much over the winter will be excited to get back. Here are just a few little thoughts that I have on the matter!
Give Yourself A Break!
When you first start riding regularly again, don’t be too hard on yourself. A lot of things with riding are like riding a bike and you will pick up on them right away. Some things your muscle memory will still have stashed away.
If you haven’t been exercising much over the winter, be prepared for your muscles tiring faster than when you left off. Or you may get winded more quickly.
When you get off after your first lesson back your legs may not feel too bad, but when you wake up the next morning, they might be screaming!
Everyone feels like this when getting back in the saddle after a break! Don’t let it dampen your enthusiasm about getting back on a horse again.
Give Your Horse A Break!
If you own a horse and haven’t ridden much all winter, remember your horse will need to get fit again just like you do. The fastest way to a grumpy spring horse is to work him too much and get him muscle sore.
Think about it as easing you and your horse, back into the riding routine together. Now that the weather is turning for the better you will both be back in shape in no time.
If you tack has been sitting all winter long, give it a cleaning and a good once over. Especially, take a good look at your billets and stirrup leathers. Check for wear and cracking. A broken stirrup leather and a fall are definitely not how you want to start the riding year!
Try to get into a cleaning routine as you start riding this season. Your horse will appreciate the soft flexible leather and you will be looking at your tack regularly which should hopefully prevent accidents.
Start A Riding Journal For This Year
#crazyjournalgirl, that’s me. I journal about everything and I highly suggest you keep a riding journal. A place to highlight great rides and what you learned. As well as pinpointing what you need to work on. And then, of course, there is one other thing journals are great for…
What do you want to accomplish this season?! How do you plan on doing it? Will you break it down into steps? Do you have a tentative timeline? Doing these things really aren’t as hard as you think and it will help you keep you on track.
I will admit, there was a time when I would have told you all this goal-setting stuff was crazy. In my mind, I just thought I needed to ride, ride, ride and that would keep me on track. Having plans for what you intend to work on really does help. I’m not suggesting you have to write pages and pages. Just want you to want to accomplish, the small steps to make it seem less daunting. Tracking your progress so that you can look back and see what is working, what is not, etc…
I’m Off The Riding Journal Soapbox
Okay, I’m officially off of the riding journal soapbox. Just promise me you will think about it.
The beginning of the spring riding season is an exciting new beginning and I hope that you and your horse get off to a great start!