When it’s dark, wet and cold, spending time at the yard can feel more of an obligation than a pleasure. Here are H&R’s tips for making you stay motivated this winter
- Book some half days off work so you can enjoy a ride in the daytime, rather than racing the fading light or trudging around in the dark. Your horse will really appreciate a break from endless schooling under floodlights, too. Plus, the thought of a mini horsey holiday will give you a boost while you’re stuck at your desk.
- After a summer of shows, evening hacks and generally getting out and about with your horse, winter can bring you back to earth with a bump. But a change in season doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun. Make use of local facilities such as all-weather gallops, box up to try new hacking routes or take advantage of the lifted restrictions and go for a beach ride. Having a diary full of activities will make winter fly by.
- It’s easy to end up wandering aimlessly around the school, thinking about what’s for dinner. Instead, create short, focused schooling plans to keep your riding on track. Aim for no more than half an hour, including five minutes for your warm-up, five minutes to cool down and two targeted exercises. Ask your instructor if you need help, or try our suggestions!
- Before the cold weather really sets in, spend some time getting your yard winter-ready. Stock up on salt or grit, insulate the pipes and make sure you’ve got plenty of spare feed and bedding ready in case there’s a supply problem. Being prepared will make you feel much more confident and ready to tackle winter head-on.
- Finally, remind yourself that, despite appearances, winter isn’t endless. Before you know it, the clocks will be changing, your horse’s rugs will come off and it’ll be spring again
For 15 other ways you can keep yourself motivated through the winter months, get your copy of January Horse&Rider, out now.