If the time spent with your horse is limited under your yard’s lockdown rules, we’ve got some great ideas to inspire you this month so you can return in December as a more knowledgeable, fitter and organised equestrian! Here are our 10 Positive Ways Equestrians Can Spend Lockdown:
Brush up on your knowledge. Brushing up on your horsey know-how is a brilliant way to spend some time. Whether it’s feeding, first aid or riding, make some time for reading (great advice at the bottom of this link), watching and listening to experts over the lockdown.
Have a sort out. Sorting out those boxes, crates and bags of horsey stuff will not only leave you feeling satisfied, but you could make a pretty penny selling them — more space in the shed and more money in your pocket.
Be Inspired. Got a favourite rider or trainer? Perhaps Carl or Charlotte inspire you, or Piggy‘s performance in the saddle sets your world on fire. Settle down and watch some videos online featuring your idol. Escaping from reality for even 20 minutes is not only good for your mental well-being but will leave you feeling rejuvenated and looking forward to riding again when you can.
Clean your tack. No, we don’t mean clean your tack, we mean CLEAN your tack! That means taking your bridle apart and cleaning every part properly and giving your saddle an excellent clean and condition. If you’re feeling generous, those riding boots could do with some TLC too.
Learn a dressage test. Even if you don’t plan to compete, try to learn a dressage test or two and imagine how you would train to ride. Look at a handful of dressage tests at your level or slightly higher to give you some schooling inspiration and direction. If you can’t ride, test your memory skills (it will be good practice for when you return to the saddle!).
Practice some positive mental exercises. Focusing on your mental well-being is more important than ever, so make time for you. Practising a few positive mental exercises every morning will leave you feeling in a much better place in which to start your day.
Ride to music. Riding to music can be fun and therapeutic, and your horse will love it too. Experiment with the type and tempo that suits your horse’s temperament and paces. If you can’t ride, watch videos of your lessons or dressage tests and have a go at matching your horse to the right pieces of music from the comfort of your sofa.
Start Pilates or yoga. With yoga and Pilates instructors heading over from the studio to online, you should find the internet bountiful with brilliant opportunities to get flexible and strengthen your core. Here is Sally Toye showing some of her training for the Mongol Derby:
Join a Facebook group. Search Facebook for a welcoming equestrian community where a conversation is appreciated, and good vibes are abundant. We’re all in this together, so reach out to equestrians for support and chat. Share our 10 positive ways equestrians can spend Lockdown perhaps!
Zoom call your yard friends. Just because you are unable to get together at the yard, there’s no reason why you can’t meet over Zoom for a yard catch-up. Use these video ‘get-togethers’ as the perfect way to keep connected with your yard community and raise a few smiles too.