The holidays are over, days are short, and spring is nowhere in sight. It’s definitely harder to find riding opportunities in winter. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. This is a great time to learn new skills, improve the old ones, catch up on maintenance, and plan for some fun in the warmer months to come. Here are some suggestions to get you started and get the creative juices flowing so you can come up with some of your own horse-y winter activities.
- Mix up some treats for your horse. Here are some recipes to try: http://www.simplypets.com/pet-recipes/Horse/Treat. Or better yet, try our Peppermint Horse Treats
- Catch up on the books and videos that were gathering dust over the summer. Or shop for some new ones. Pick a skill you’ve been wanting to learn or a horsemanship area you want to improve and invest some time in education
- Give your horse a massage. If you’re not sure how, here’s a link to an article that can get you started: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/10502/massage-while-you-groom
- Clean your tack.
- Practice taking your horse’s temperature, pulse and respiration (TPR). Get familiar with what’s normal for your horse.
- Organize your barn and tack room. Don’t forget your brush bucket! Your grooming tools can use a good cleaning from time to time. Go through your first aid kit and properly dispose of any meds that are out of date, and replace them.
- Make your list of horse-related New Year’s Resolutions. Develop a plan of action to help you keep them. Put the action plan on your calendar.
- Read up on saddle fit and evaluate your saddle.
- Check your horse’s teeth.
- Decide on some stable improvements you’d like to make during the coming year. Make a plan and calendar them.
These suggestions can help keep you connected with your horse and bolster your motivation during the cold dark days of winter, and get you better prepared for the warm weather fun that’s on its way!