Happy New Year to you and your horse! A new year is full of exciting prospects of what's to come. Many will set new years resolutions that they may or may not keep. Here are some practical ideas for horse resolutions that are easy to live up to.
Not Taking It Personally When You Have a Bad Day With Your Horse
We all love our horses so much, and therefore we get emotional about them. When they are good, we are riding high, happy as can be. When things don't go so well, we tend to take it personally, as if our horse did whatever it was that wasn't so great on purpose, just to make us mad, or even worse, to hurt our feelings.
In 2019, let's pledge to leave our emotions, feelings, and ego out of the riding ring. The only emotion or feeling you should be bringing to the barn with you is a dedication and a sense of humor.
Set Goals, Then Break Them Down Into Steps
Don't just say, "I'm going to ride my horse every day." Instead, what would be more effective would be planning to ride your horse every day, but having a plan for how you will get it done. How will you manage all your other obligations?
A big open-ended goal seems desirable because it seems like it will be easier to meet. It may seem easier, but if you set smaller goals and steps to build to your larger goals, you are more likely to be able to meet them!
Start a Riding Journal
If you have read any of my other articles, you probably have noticed that I have a thing for journaling and documenting everything. You should try it. Record when you rode, what you did, what worked and what didn't. It will help you to not only see your progress but to find patterns to indicate why you are struggling with something.
Try Something New With Your Horse
Part of the horsemanship journey is being a good all around horse person and learning as much as possible about all aspects of horsemanship. Take a step toward this in 2019 by trying something new with your horse.
If you are an English rider, take a Western lesson or two. If you are a dressage rider, try jumping some low jumps. If you are a ring rider, try to build up the confidence to go on a trail ride,
By doing something new with your horse, you are becoming a better all-around horse person, as well as keeping things interesting for your horse. You never know you might discover that his forte is in another discipline.
Cleaning Your Tack
Cleaning your tack is important for many reasons. It keeps it in a good soft condition and makes it last longer. It will also be more comfortable for your horse.
Well cared for tack will last longer and save you money in the long run.
Cleaning your tack regularly will also make it easier if you are a show rider. By regular cleaning, if you have a show, your tack should be fairly clean and just need to be wiped down.
Wear a Helmet/Put Safety First
If you don't currently ride with a helmet on, start! As someone who is recovering from a TBI and going through post-concussive syndrome, I'm very sensitive to this.
There is no hairstyle or riding outfit so important that makes it worth not wearing a helmet and protecting yourself. You just never know what could happen with horses. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you have a friend who doesn't wear a helmet, encourage them to. They might thank you one day!
You Can Handle These Resolutions
These are realistic, good goals to strive for. Here's to another happy year of horses!