8 Rainy Day Activities, But Still Horse-y
Are you stuck at the barn on a rainy day, but still want to squeeze in some horse-y time? Don’t sweat, we have you covered:
- Take some time to deep clean and condition your tack: It’s the task that we all know we need to do, but may not love doing. When done well though, it can be an enjoyable experience! Our leather craftsman, David Freedman (Freedman Harness) recommends thinking of your tack as skin:
“When your skin is dirty you wash it! (Cleaning the leather with saddle soap) never use cold or hot water. When your skin is dry you moisturize or use a cream conditioner! (Condition the leather with a proper leather conditioner). Unless you oil your skin, then I wouldn't advise you to ever oil leather. Think about it this way, put on some sun tan lotion and go out sunbathing, what happens to your skin? It burns and darkens. Need I say more? Lastly, if the ladies are going out for a night on the town they use some topical makeup on their skin! If you want a bright lustre to the top layer of your leather then use some boot cream or shoe polish to highlight it. Just like make-up, it will wear off in time.”
- Create a handy dandy health calendar for your horse: Keeping a horse healthy takes a lot of work and being organized gives you a leg up. Grab a wall or desk calendar and some colorful markers or stickers for a little DIY health calendar session. Every 6-8 weeks for the calendar year ahead, mark out when your horse will need their regular farrier visit. Twice a year, pick a time to conduct your fecal egg count and appropriate deworming routine. Once a year, set aside time for your horse’s annual coggins, vaccines, and dental appointment. This will help you keep track of your horse’s health to ensure optimal performance in the year ahead!
- Teach your horse some fun tricks: Riding isn’t the only activity that is good for a horse. Training them something new (like tricks!) can be a great way to stimulate their mind and bond with them further. Plus these tricks will make you and your horse the hit of the barn – guaranteed! We suggest starting off with something cute like a smile and a couple of these which are actually great additions to their groundwork. You will be surprised how much fun you and your horse can have – even without a saddle!
- Play stylist and work on your braiding skills: This might take you back to your horse-crazed days of youth, but that’s the point! Braiding is a relaxing activity for both you and your horse. You can enjoy quality time with them and accomplishing a really cool task while listening to music or your favorite podcast. Your horse works on their tying manners and gets some extra loving. There are so many online tutorials, like this one from Horse Journals, that can help get you started on the right foot. Your barn buddies will be so impressed at the next show!
- Learn how to stretch your horse: This is a skill that will a great addition to your routine whether it’s raining or not! Learning to stretch your horse will be great for their performance as it will help them warm up for and cool down from strenuous exercises. It can also become a great way to enjoy some quiet time with your horse at a horse show. This guide from Dr. Pat is complete with tips and photos to help get you started.
- Massage your horse’s stiffness away: This is an obvious yes for anyone who has ever had a massage of their own, right? If your horse flinches while saddling, canters less freely than normal, resists lateral work, or walks with a hollowed back, he or she might be sore and could benefit from some massage work. Watch this video by Cutting Horse Training Online and others to get the basics down. Your horse will thank us!
- Deep clean your horse’s stall: With the help of a wheelbarrow, a pitchfork, and a good shovel, remove all shavings and strip it down to the ground or mat. If you have a mat, pull it to the wash rack for a good scrub down or power wash. Next, you can give the walls and buckets a good cleaning and replace with fresh shavings. Trust us, you will be so proud of the work done and your horse will sleep well tonight!
- Reorganize and clean the tack room: Okay we have all been there… When you’re in a hurry to put your brushes away and it turns into a bit of a disaster. While you can’t ride, dust and reorganize your tack room. If you really want to go all out, get a label maker and label things like brush or supplement compartments and even hooks for certain horse’s bridles!
Which one are you excited to try the next rainy day?