Staying in the comfort and safety of our own homes for an extended period of time can be unnerving for horse enthusiasts used to being outdoors. Community lockdowns may keep us out of the stables, but consider the time we spend indoors as an opportunity to improve our riding skills and pursue our passion.
Whether it is perfecting our form or sharing our love for horseback riding with others, there are a variety of activities we horse enthusiasts can do even when we’re home.
Take part in a virtual equestrian event
Business meetings and classroom learning have gone online, so it is no surprise that horse events – from training exercises to riding shows – are now virtual as well. The American Paint Horse Association, for example, has an e-show platform where riding videos can be uploaded for review and judging.
Catch up on horse-themed shows
Binge-watching or watching multiple episodes of horse-related shows on streaming platforms is a popular way to pass the time. Many of the series and movies on Netflix, for example, are geared towards families, making it possible for equestrians to enjoy their love for horses and riding with the whole family.
Perfect your form with riding exercises
Equestrians with easy access to their horses can train and refine their riding posture. Surprisingly, many horseback riders do not realize that they are unconsciously sending their horses confusing and contradictory signals with their form. Fine tuning our stance can improve riding skills and develop the consistency that horses need to respond correctly to our signals. During training, however, ask a ground person to help identify our weaknesses and provide instant feedback.
As a rider, our physical fitness also affects the performance of our horse. While the horse is in the stables, take some time to work on that exercise regimen. Squats and plank leg lifts are easy to do at home and help the muscles get into shape. For stretches and relaxation, yoga can relieve the tension of staying at home for extended periods.
Read a horse book
Every riding enthusiast has a horse-related book or two waiting to be read. Grab your beverage of choice, tuck yourself in your favorite nook in the house, and start leafing through those pages.
Create a vision board
Unfortunately, many of our equestrian plans and activities have been put on hold because of quarantine stays. Remain positive and inspired by creating a dream board for the future. What are you looking forward to in 2021? Fill your board – or scrapbook – with photos, stickers, illustrations, horse event announcements, horse care tips, along with other crafty bits representing your hopes and dreams for the year. Let your imagination run free.
Staying at home and away from friends, family, and our horses for weeks on end can be difficult. As an equestrian, we need to be part of a friendly, experienced riding community to continue improving our abilities and pursuing our passion for horses.
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