Don’t Really Know How I Feel About New Years Resolutions
Do you set a New Years Resolution? In some ways I think it is a great idea because it gives you something to work towards, and encourages you to keep your eye on the prize.
On the other hand, we have all heard stories about how people start out strong and lose will power to continue. Or once February or March rolls around they have totally gotten jaded on the fresh start of a new year.
I’m Not Going To Suggest Resolutions
I’m just going to give you a list of things that as you go into the New Year with your horse, will be beneficial and fun. No ultimatums or deadlines.
This way, even if you just do one or two of them, you did something for you and your horse in the New Year, and improving our lives. Both horsey and non-horsey, is the whole point of a New Years Resolution. At least that is my interpretation of what one should be.
So here we go!
Spend Time With Your Horse Without Riding
Sure that is why we have horses is because we love riding. I think it is important to spend time on the ground with your horse.
Grooming is super important, you get to know all the lumps and bumps on your horse. So you can notice when there is something wrong.
Doing ground work with your horse is a good way to gain respect on the ground, and if done correctly will translate to when you are riding.
There is also just the whole give your horse a break thing! Take him out to graze, anything that you can do to make sure your horse doesn’t only associate you with work!
Take Any Opportunities To Ride Different Horses
Especially those of us who own a horse of our own, it is good for us to get on different horses.
Obviously, horses within your skill set. Your friends horses or maybe a lesson horse at your barn. Horses that you have seen other people ride and feel confident to get on. I’m not at all suggesting that you need to ride your neighbors horse that is a bucking bronco 90% of the time!
If you are in a program stay in it! I’m not just saying that because I have one! Horses are such a unique activity. Time in the saddle is not in it’s self the only way to improve. In fact, I believe perfect practice makes perfect, not just practice. Not perfect in a literal sense of course, none of us are. Your riding will improve and you will continue to progress in whatever direction you want much more easily if you have someone correcting you when you make mistakes.
That is why I call it a horsemanship journey, it is impossible to know everything there is to know about horses and riding!
Make sure you clean your tack regularly! This is super important and something I think a lot of horse owners over look.
It is important you clean your tack so that you can check it over and make sure it is all in good working order. Heading off a broken stirrup or billet before it happens is much better than ending up on the ground. With regular cleaning, you will notice if anything needs to be replaced or repaired.
It is also for your horses behalf, clean, soft, supple leather is much more comfortable on a horse than dry and stiff leather is.
Clean Your Brushes
We all use our brushes each time we ride, but how often do you clean them? Think about how much dirt you are putting back on your horse time and time again if you never clean your brushes.
It’s the easiest thing so there are no excuses. Use your curry comb to get as much hair and dirt out of the brushes as possible. Then let them sit in a bucket with some soap. Any kind of soap, I usually use dawn dish soap. Then lay them out in the sun to dry!
Buy Some New Stuff!
At our barn we are a little obsessed with our horses having “looks”, always matching pads, polos, ear bonnets, etc…. I know we are weirdos!
It is so fun though! Spring for a couple new saddle pads, polos, whatever you might want for your horse. Fun sort of stuff! By the way, pretty much anything you could want for your horse you can get on Etsy. Custom saddle pads, wraps, etc….
Plan Fun Barn Activities
Nothing hard to organize or super formal. For example, for a while in the summer we did bareback Fridays on Friday evenings when lessons were over.
We have been doing mounted games on the weekends. Don’t be a snob, you are never too old, or too cool to have fun with mounted games.
Share Your Horse With Someone
A friend or family member that has shown interest in your horse and riding. I know what you are thinking, you don’t feel like it. I totally know the feeling.
From giving pony rides I have learned that there is great satisfaction in seeing other people interact with horses for the first time. Watching the kids smile and not wanting to get off the ponies. Or even watching as a timid person with your horse and how they can learn quickly to trust and that there is nothing to be afraid of.
So suck it up and share your horse with someone. It is worthwhile trust me! Plus, you never know how many new horse crazy kids and adults we might be able to drum up!
Some Fun Things and Some Practical
I know I didn’t suggest anything big or exciting. A lot of these things you might do already. These are just a combination of things that I think any rider or horse owner could do throughout the year to make them feel like they are doing the best they can for their horse and enjoying it at the same time!
It’s Almost Christmas!!!
We can’t just skip to 2021, though after the year we have had in 2020 I think a lot of people wouldn’t mind it. So I’m going to Christmas up this post! Here you go!
My Favorite Christmas Song!