Safe at Home: Staying Sane

As horse people, we are notorious for our never-ending to-do list and hours spent at the barn caring for and enjoying our horses. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing list of cities are now under shelter-in-place ordinances. Shelter-in-place, in essence, requires citizens to stay home unless for essential duties such as grocery and pharmacy runs. We applaud lawmakers for taking these necessary strides to flatten the curve for the sake of this nation. However, this leaves horse people a bit at risk of “stir crazy” so we have compiled a list of activities for our fellow homebound horse enthusiasts.

  1. Keep in riding shape: You have worked hard to get your body in tip top riding condition and not being in the saddle can set your training back a few weeks. Lucky for you, a lot of fitness apps are extending their free trials to 30-60 days (such as Peloton, Nike, Daily Burn, and more). For movements specifically targeted at equestrians, we think riders of all disciplines can learn from the strength training of dressage riders like Lauren Sprieser who is showing us her routine on her Instagram stories or this list from Dressage Rider Training. While it is beneficial to your mental and physical health to stay active, we ask that you show yourself grace as this is new for everyone – either way you’ve got this!
  2. Organize and plan your horse’s health schedule: You know that thing that you always say you need to do? Yeah, do it! To get some ideas started, Zoetis offers recommended annual health calendar or you can buy this Savvy Horse Calendar for your desk (complete with stickers!). Get all your vaccinations, worming, farrier visits, teeth floating, sheath cleaning, and chiropractic adjustments on the calendar. If you want to go REALLY organized, create and include a horse care budget. This will set you and your horse up for success in the future and you will experience a well-earned dopamine hit when you cross off future to-do’s being such a great horse owner!
  3. Virtual shows: Depending on your local ordinances and if you are able to be with your horse, there are some virtual shows getting organized to keep equestrians in the spirit of competition.
  4. Review prior riding footage: Speaking of showing, take this extra down time to review old riding footage with your trainer to discuss what went well and things you can work on to improve for the next big show. After reviewing footage, spend time improving your rides using the proven tactic of visualization.
  5. Clean your tack: Put on a good horse movie, lay out your tack, and enjoy the results of fresh tack that will make you the talk of the barn when life goes back to normal! The expert leather craftsmen at Freedman Harness recommend thinking of your leather as you would your skin. Basically, when it gets dirty you wash it with saddle soap and when it dries out, you moisturize it with conditioner. You can read their full recommendation here, and trust us these guys know what they’re talking about!

We hope this list gives you some things to do that will serve you well as a rider once all of this pass – because it will. We are wishing you and your loved ones health and wellness in this season. Good luck and stay safe!