With temperatures steadily decreasing, it feels like even the sun has hit its lowest level of motivation. Finding the energy to ride, let alone drive all the way to the barn, seems more difficult than ever. However, your horse still needs enrichment and exercise even when going outside is the last thing you want to do!

Where does our motivation come from during the time of year when it is cold and it seems to get dark at lunchtime? It seems like we have so much time until the spring show season starts up again. In reality, this is the ideal time to hit the ground running and prepare for the New Year. Focus on your struggles and push yourself to be better every time you sit in the saddle. With these tools in mind, you can feel prepared and confident for your first spring season show!

Set Your Goals

A great way to brush off the winter blues is by setting goals, both short term, and long term. Is your horse struggling with a leg yield? Could your body be quieter over fences? Make these current problems your future goals! By giving yourself time to focus on the smaller aspects of your riding, you can stay dedicated to fine-tuning your form throughout the winter.

Short Term Goals

Maintaining short term goals allow you to work on multiple at once. Spend 5 minutes working on one of your goals, and then 5 minutes on another. This allows you to have variety and diversity in your ride without your horse feeling frustrated. As these small changes start to happen and you start to see a difference, it is likely that you will begin to feel more motivation without even thinking about it!

Long Term Goals

Long term goals can help drive us forward when the cold seeps into our bones and just won’t leave. Do you want to go to finals next year, move up a level, or jump a new height? Tell your trainer and make a plan that spans over the whole winter. Have check-ins every month to hold yourself accountable. With this plan, you actually work towards your goal over time. Taking the effort to practice harder all winter allows the rider to gain more confidence and not feel rushed into trying something new. This time will give you the opportunity to grow into all the positive changes you’ve been making. When it comes time to debut at your new level in the spring, you can feel confident enough to show off your hard work!

Track Your Improvement

As the winter rolls on, you can track your improvement by videotaping yourself riding each day, or every few days. Then you can compare the footage from when you started, to where you are now! Sometimes, when we live in the day-to-day, seeing changes over time feels more difficult. However, saving a video to measure your progress from where you started can feel more rewarding.

Be Honest With Yourself

With motivation comes some reality… sometimes you simply need a break! Even your horse sometimes needs a break too. Taking time off from riding can be an opportunity to spend more quality time with your four-legged friend and make them feel loved on the ground. Try out some new grooming tools this winter to get your horse shiny and clean without having to get them wet! Start with E3’s Waterless Shampoo or Carr & Day & Martin’s Dreamcoat Spray to get your horse’s coat shining. You can also keep your horse’s hooves healthy with Tenda’s Holistic Hoof Oil. Using hoof oil in the winter is a great way to avoid cracked and dry hooves. As always, don’t forget to treat your horse to some special cookies from Kelcie’s. Dogs even love Kelcie’s Treats, too!

Stay Stocked Up

Our obligation to the horses we love will keep us coming out to the barn every day, despite the elements. Don’t let your show supplies run low just because it’s the off-season! You can shop all of our products at FarmVet.com 24/7 or call one of our friendly Sales Associates at 1-888-837-3626 from Monday-Friday 8am-5pm CST. You can also email your order to info@farmvet.com.