Winter. You wake up, it’s dark. You go home, it’s dark. Rain. Cold. Mud. Hairy horse. Fresh horse. Sweaty horse. Cold. Mud. Dark. Did I mention cold?! It’s no wonder us horse-riders struggle to stay motivated in the winter! Now, I am not a fair-weather rider by any means – I’ll ride in all weathers – but I always find myself losing motivation around this time of year. Long working days (I work in advertising, and Christmas is our biggest time of year), dark evenings, and a lack of human presence around the yard, makes it that bit tougher to keep the drive.
Today, I made yet another excuse to not ride, and I know I’m not the only one! Here are some of the most common excuses I’ve made – and I know my fellow equestrians have too – to avoid riding:
1. “Sure the horse doesn’t care if he gets ridden or not”
2. “Ah, he had a hard weekend out competing, the extra day off will be good for him”
3. “Oh he’s fully clipped and it’s BALTIC out there tonight – I don’t want him to be frozen!”
4. “He’s fit enough, four days a week is plenty for him”
5. “I’ll just groom”
6. “He’s been off three days at this stage, what’s one more day?”
7. “The arena is probably too hard/waterlogged/deep”
8. “I’ve had a bad day, no point trying to do anything in this mood”
9. “The roads might be icy by the time I leave the yard, don’t want to get into an accident”
10. “I’ll just lunge”.
Rest assured, you are not alone – we are all fighting the uphill battle that is winter, and anyone who says they “don’t mind” or “actually quite like” winter, is kidding themselves. Only three more weeks and the days start getting longer!