It’s that time of year, the time that many of us dread- resolution time. It can be a challenge to set a resolution and stick to it, but we have complied a list of a few simple equestrian resolution suggestions to help you get 2018 started off right.
Arrive at the Barn Earlier/Stay Later
Most days I arrive to the barn thirty minutes early or more, which gives me ample time to give Joey or Flash an extensive grooming and once over. When we aren’t rushing through the motions, we are most likely to notice small things here and there and we are building on our bond with our horse.
Once my lesson is over, not having to rush out of the barn is not only beneficial for myself but also for my horses. Both of my boys get ample cool down time, paired with alternative therapies such as Back on Track Quick Wraps or time under their Accuhorsemat. Scheduling additional time at the barn also allows for more time for my next resolution suggestion….
Clean Your Tack Thoroughly After Each Ride
We are all guilty of tossing our bridle back on the rack after a quick ride now and then, but caring for your equipment as thoroughly as you care for your horse allows for a longer life span of your tack. Crack out a soft toothbrush and really clean in your saddles crevices. Inspect your leathers as you polish them up and avoid a potential stirrup catastrophe. This small change in your daily routine can make a huge impact in the longevity of your equipment and makes your barn look well kept.
Drink More Water
It is practically drilled into our heads that we need to be drinking water ALL THE TIME-which is true. Just like any workout, when we ride we are breaking down muscle fibers through exercise. In order for your body to rebuild and to reduce soreness the next day, you need to drink plenty of water. So grab a water bottle for each ride and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Improve Your Safety Perspective
Safety should be number one in everything we do, but especially when working with horses. Start with simple changes in your day to day like; walking fences in pastures and paddocks when you go out to fetch your horse, observing your equipment and the barn more thoroughly for hazards, and notifying someone each time you arrive at the barn alone and what time you expect to be done.
Read More Literature
King George Morris himself reads a new book each week and if he is constantly learning, so are we! Amazon has exceptional prices on books and many books have audiobooks available- perfect for education on the go. Currently I am reading Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic and have found it to be super helpful with tons of exercises I plan on incorporating in my hacks!
Become an Expert
As a child, I was intrigued by breeds and coat color. As I grew, this passion blossomed into a thorough study of breed history and genetics. Now I am studying up on diets, supplements, and forages. This is not only good to know as a horsewoman who might be bringing her horses home in the spring, but it also is helping me to better understand my horses digestive needs and wants. Pick a topic related to the horse world that you may not be an expert on and become one!
Have SMART Goals
It is easy for us to set goals such as “I want to jump 3’ by the end of the year,” but it is also easy for us to get lost along the way. SMART goals help keep you on track and hold you accountable for your own success. The term SMART is an acronym that will help you clarify exactly what you expect out of your performance by a set due date. A SMART goal will be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Get with your trainer and discuss your goals, then dissect them to be SMART goals, and hold yourself accountable.
Politeness is Key
This is probably one of the easiest resolutions on this list, but it is often overlooked. In the hustle and bustle of the industry, it is often easy to forget to use your manners. Polish up on your politeness. Remember to thank the grooms and in-gate staff that keep our days going smoothly. Follow up your sentences with please and thank you. It seems silly, but it can really pay off in the long run. People take note of respectful young riders and it can often be the one thing you do to open up doors.
No matter what resolution you decide on, be firm and fair when holding yourself accountable for them. It is easy to decide on a resolution, but the hard part comes with living by them. Make a promise to yourself that you will hold strong and start 2018 off right with a resolution to make you the best rider you can be!