Equestrians' New Year's Resolutions

It’s almost the time of year for a fresh start. The time when people decide to make new goals and conquer them come January first. Losing weight, eating healthy and starting a new hobby are just a few of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Let’s put a twist on things and see what resolutions we can make that involve our horses.

Ride more often.

This is a great one for those of us who are good at finding excuses to not ride, whether it’s because we “aren’t in the mood” or have a million other things to do. But how many times have we gone to the barn to ride with a bad attitude, only to realize it was the best part of the day and to have it relieve whatever stress was on our mind? Happens every time. Set a weekly goal and have it written somewhere you can see it every day. Keep track of your riding, and it’ll help keep you motivated. There is nothing more satisfying than reaching a goal, and this is such an easy one to conquer.

Gain strength.

I know, I know. Working out is the most common new year’s resolution out there. But I couldn’t leave this one out. Equestrians understand how much strength is required to ride so instead of making the typical resolution to lose weight or work out because you know you should, do it to be a better rider. This puts a new twist on why you’re going to the gym every day and may even help keep you motivated to do so. Doing exercises that strengthen your core is a great place to start, but also strengthening your arms, back, and legs can make a huge difference in your riding ability and endurance.

Take a lesson with a new trainer.

We all have our favorite trainers, and a lot of us don’t like change. But going outside of our comfort zones and scheduling a lesson with a different trainer occasionally, even if it’s just once a month, can really help you grow as a rider. Having the same trainer is great; they know you and your skill set, they know your horse and his skill set, etc. But sometimes having someone who doesn’t know you that well can really give you a new perspective on things. It can be comparable to writing a paper in school. Typically, the teacher will have you exchange your rough draft with 2-3 other students to look over for mistakes. It’s not that the first person didn’t do well enough, it’s just that the more eyes that view it, the less chance there is for a mistake.

Schedule a photoshoot with your horse.

This is such a fun resolution to make. Make it a goal for 2020 to get some professional photos taken of you and your horse. Or even just your horse if you choose not to be in them. There are a lot of photographers out there that specialize in equestrian photography. Look up pricing and put aside money every paycheck for a photoshoot. Guarantee you will be happy with the outcome and will end up hanging a few in your home.

Start an “Animal Emergency” savings account.

A lot of us were taught to have a checking account, savings account and then an emergency fund for those unknown accidents or emergencies that may arise throughout our lives. But when it comes to owning a horse (or any pet for that matter), having a separate account just for animal emergencies is not a bad idea either. Our pets can have accidents just like we can and being prepared for them financially will eliminate at least one stressor from the probably already difficult situation that would cause you to withdraw from this account. Take the time to go over your finances and budget and decide on a set amount to be put into this fund weekly or monthly. I’m sure your future self with thank you.

Teach your horse a new trick.

I’m not talking about raising the jumps from 3’3” to 3’6”. I mean spend some quality time on the ground with your horse and teach him a trick like to give you a hug, to bow or to rear. Not all of us have the knowledge to be able to do this off the top of our heads, but thanks to good ol’ YouTube, you’re sure to find many “how to teach your horse to...” videos that can steer you in the right direction. You may even develop a new-found connection with your horse that you didn’t have before.

Record yourself riding once a month.

Progress videos are so motivating. Make it a goal to record yourself riding at least one time a month. Then go back and watch them. It’s such a great way to check your posture, technique, your horse’s movement, etc. Especially if you have a goal for yourself such as gaining strength or losing weight, these videos will track that progress as well, and it will be so rewarding to go back in December of 2020 and see how far you’ve come.

Hopefully these equine-resolutions will help put a twist on the typical New Year’s resolutions and allow for more people to reach their goals in 2020. Don’t let the spark and motivation of starting fresh with a new year dwindle as the months go on. Stick to your goals and resolutions and in 2021. You will be so grateful you did.

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