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Most equestrians would agree that winter isn’t the most pleasant of seasons. Constant feeling of cold feet, wet gloves, mud, or difficult drying of sweating horses are just a few of winter issues horsey people deal with every day. Even if you are lucky enough to have an indoor arena nearby, changeless riding indoors may start to feel tedious. Here are five tips to brighten up your winter days.
Take Your Education Outdoors
There are many exercises you can transport outside. For example, you can try zig-zags, yielding your horse around „inner“ leg, transitions to halt, walking on a nice contact while maintaining a good, forward pace. These are just a few of the things you may practice outside while a change of scenery and some fresh air will be beneficial for you and your horse.
Get a Day Off
Everyone feels like not doing anything from time to time. Cut yourself some slack, and don’t go riding if you’re too tired or overworked. Grooming or hand-walking your horse improves your relationship, makes them trust you more, and soothes your stretched nerves.
Lunge With Poles
Lunging doesn’t have to be monotonous. Spice thing up and set some trot poles. They will make lunge work more enjoyable, help your horse stretch their back muscles, and engage hind legs.
Improve Your Dressage Skills
While showjumping dressage may be slightly different from the classical one, it’s still essential for every rider and their horses. Use your wintertime and work on your skills – transitions, lead changes, or maybe some lateral movements to relax your four-legged friend.
If you trust your horse enough, try riding bareback. While your legs may kill you afterward, a bareback session will provide you with much insight – it helps loosen your muscles and realize if some of them are stiff and should relax, and you learn to give just as much leg or seat aids as needed - not more. Apart from riding benefits, this training deepens the bond between you and your horse, your trust, and your understanding.
Have fun and stay safe!