Beating the Winter Blues
Today we bring you 2 blog posts from sponsored riders Fiona Dearing and Pamela Tomlinson - one a written piece and one a vlog. We'd love to hear your feedback on how you beat the winter blues in your comments below.
What to do in Winter?
Winter is well and truly here! For those of us in South Eastern states we’ve welcomed some much-needed rain. The wet stuff from the sky seriously hinders our riding time but I like to think of it as helping crops and hay grow for us all in the future!
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have an indoor arena our riding areas become slippery at best or dangerous bogs at worst. This makes us riders pretty sad, lack of doing our favourite thing, slopping through mud to feed equally muddy horses who think it’s fun to see how many places they can put all the glorious mud, it seems like it’ll never end!
Here are six things I like to do so I feel like winter hasn’t been a complete write-off!
1 – Get a group of friends together and hire an indoor arena once a week. Weekends may be heavily booked but consider an evening booking, after all, they have lights! Getting three or four of you together will keep costs down and may help with transport.
2 – Walk work! Even if your riding area is a bit too sloppy to trot and canter there’s so much work you can do in walk. You may even find some holes in your training that once fixed in walk end up helping the trot and canter. You can ride all sorts of patterns, making sure you concentre on correct flexion and bend. Leg yield, shoulder-in, most of your lateral movements can be practiced in walk. The list of exercises you can focus on really is endless.
3 – If you’re in a country area hack out on roads. If you’re worried about your horses reaction to the world out there lead him out the first few times. Always put your safety first and make sure you’re visible to drivers, a hi-vis vest from Bunnings is only about $5.
4 – Ground work! Winter’s a great time to ensure your horses ground work is up to scratch. There are many suppling exercises you can use which will also help you under saddle. You may even like to try some liberty work or teach your horse to bow.
5 – Tidying up the tack room. I know, I know, it’s not my favourite thing to do either. Think of it as the Spring clean you won’t have to do when it’s Spring! Organise rugs into tubs in sizes. Work out what you may not be using and sell it. Clean your competition gear and have it in good order for when you need it. I promise you will feel better once it’s all done!
6 – Your own education. Take those rainy days to watch videos of other trainers working or read a book. I have many books on my kindle app these days, they’re much cheaper to purchase this way and I always have my whole library with me.
I hope this has given you some ideas, stay warm and here’s to Spring!