Spring is nowhere to be seen, so why not take advantage of the winter months? Follow the photo shoot I did with my mom to get some fun and constructive ideas for your furry pony!
#1 Get your exercise!
Is your New Years resolution to start exercising more? Your horse can help you with that! Something Storm and I do is go for walks. Even though you have to become coordinated with your equipment because of the many layers you may be wearing, walking through deep snow actually makes working with your horse a little more predictable, and (when you have a horse who likes to be fast) it really enables a slower pace, allowing time to think and observe your horse.
#2 Become explorers
#3 Find your feet
The great part about snow is that you can see tracks. We haven’t talked about healthy longeing practices yet, but when we do, you’ll see what I mean. With snow, you can tell if your horse is walking a perfect circle and if you’re walking a perfect circle. There is no cheating when the snow is fresh and perfect. This can be something you can practice all winter long until you get it perfect. Then when spring comes, you’ll be surprised at how accurate you are.
#4 Make feeding time training time!
My mom has this really cool arrangement; she has convinced our herd of seven to line up within just a few feet of each other to receive their winter supplements. It takes time and a lot of confidence to train a whole herd to do this, but it’s totally achievable if you stay consistent and patient. It’s a great exercise to test your body language and energy.
#5 Study a little
#7 Find your balance, bareback
You have to trust your horse to ride bareback, but in the winter you know there will be a soft landing if you fall. You’ll stay warmer, and you can skip the trouble of saddling up. Work on developing your centre of gravity and keeping your shoulders level. If you feel unstable push your hands down on your horses withers. This actually has a calming effect on horses, as well as a stabilizing effect on you.
#8 Pull things
Teaching your horse to pull things is a fun way to take advantage of the snow. Pulling barrels, toboggans, or sleds can even be useful in the long run. Whether you want to eventually rope or teach your horse to drive, pulling off of your horse can be a fun, no-pressure way to spend an afternoon. It’s also a great way to develop your tool expertise.