Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

Alayne shares some mental strategies to help riders get through the winter blahs.
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Winter Boredom Busters for Riders
While winter might be picturesque, it's often a stifling time for riders. | Photo: Alayne Blickle, Horses for Clean Water
Your outdoor pen is frozen. Roads are too icy for hauling horses to nearby indoor arenas. Temps are single digits. Forecast is for snow and more snowÉ. Sound familiar? As an equestrian, there is little more that makes us crazy than not being able to ride for days on end.

Would you like some mental strategies for you, the rider, to help you through the winter blahs? Here are some of my tips:

Research and sign up for clinics or lessons coming this spring. No clinics in your chosen field? There might be clinics out there in other disciplines that might be of interest to you. For example, I audited a Pilates for dressage riders clinic in early February. I am a reiner but I believe good riding is good riding and there’s usually something in any discipline that I can learn from.

Research a new discipline. There may be other disciplines that you and your horse might benefit from, such as Western dressage. I now have two retired reiners that I am considering doing Western Dressage with. Western dressage will be less stress for the joints but still a challenging, learning opportunity for both my horse and me. I have located an instructor in this field and have signed up for an introductory lesson with her later this month

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

6 Responses

  1. re: Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

    I enjoy coming up with patterns to ride when weather permits. "Riding the alphabet" is a quick & easy way to change things up. I’ll pick a letter of the alphabet to ride much like a pattern. For example: "B"  Ride the long

  2. re: Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

    I enjoy coming up with patterns to ride when weather permits. "Riding the alphabet" is a quick & easy way to change things up. I’ll pick a letter of the alphabet to ride much like a pattern. For example: "B"  Ride the long

  3. re: Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

    Great ideas! I enjoy hearing what others have to add to this. Thanks all!

  4. re: Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

    We don’t have snow, but have lots of rainy muddy days, so I schedule grooming days, and give my horses massages.  They give me a work out and my horses like the attention.

  5. re: Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

    A friend of mine introduced her horses to soccer!  One gelding picked it up immediately and even in a small area he can kick and play with the soccer ball, sometimes even bouncing it over for my friend to kick back to him.  Video on YouTube,

  6. re: Winter Boredom Busters for Riders

    I find cleaning tack is enjoyable.  You then have verything clean and inspected ready to go when the weather is good.

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