10 New Year’s resolutions for busy equestrians
If you are a busy equestrian that puts a lot of time and energy into looking after horses, you may (understandably) not have the time or inclination to run a marathon, read a classic novel or start a new juice cleanse…. like many non-horsey resolution setters often aim to do at the start of every year.
But rather than being put off by the trend of audacious goals, take a look at these small and manageable resolutions that every horse owner can incorporate into their routine. If you can stick to just some of these resolutions when you are in and around the yard, you will be off to a fantastic start in 2023.
- Clean your tack and grooming box. Remove all the hay and empty grooming products and restore some order before the end of January. You may like to clear out your box once a month to keep your things feeling organised.
- Scrub your horse’s feed and water buckets more frequently. This can be tempting to skip when you are pushed for time, or if the water is freezing cold - but clean feeding equipment is a vital part of stable management. A quick rinse once or twice a day can improve the general health of your horse because eliminating contaminants such as faeces or mould from the buckets encourages more water consumption.
- Stop treating your car like a second tack room. You may think you need to keep that spare whip, hat, and pair of boots in your car…..but do you really? Research shows that keeping a clutter-free environment helps focus and reduces stress. So, try and travel to the yard with only the things you need, and if you must pick up hay in your car, lay down a sheet or a rug to help keep your car clean.
- Sort out the tack and equipment you no longer use. If you are keeping a tiny bridle with no intention of buying a 13h pony again, consider giving this tack to another girl on the yard, or sell it online or at a car boot sale to declutter and earn a bit of cash.
- Clean your tack every time you ride…. Or at least clean your bit every time. Your horse deserves a fresh bit that isn’t covered in a solidified version of yesterday's meal. When it comes to the rest of the tack, try cleaning it once a week…. Or month – whatever is a realistic goal within your routine. Good leather care will really prolong the life of your tack and gives you the chance to check for breaks or cracks in the leather which may affect your safety when you ride.
- Put important dates in your diary. Use this time to plan the important things in the year ahead. Make sure you know when your horse needs their vaccinations, or their teeth checked. Also, review your horse’s worming program and see what upcoming events you might like to attend. If you want one less thing to worry about while you are planning your year, the Farm & Stable team can provide you with a free bespoke worming program when you call 01730 815800.
- Try some new hacking routes. If you’re feeling brave, take the path you haven’t taken before, or if you want a tried and tested route, look up the best bridle paths near you – you might uncover a hidden gem right on your doorstep.
- Observe other riders when you are at a competition. Once you are don competing and your pre-competition nerves have gone, watch the other riders warm up, rather than just watching the show ring - it may give you some tips that you can use in your own training.
- Go to the gym to improve your rider fitness. Often enough riders put so much time and energy into keeping their horse fit and healthy while their own fitness can fall by the wayside. Make sure you find the time to keep your own fitness up. Not only will the extra strength help you when you tie up soaked hay nets and push overfilled wheelbarrows, but it will hugely benefit your time in the saddle.
- Do some good in the equestrian community. This could mean doing a sponsored ride, donating unwanted rugs to a local rescue or giving a helping hand to the people on your yard – doing something with a positive effect is a sure way of making you feel uplifted, and it is even better when you can do it with your horse.