Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting Motivated to Ride: Going from Horse Lazy to Horse Crazy

Photo By: Flickr User Charlie Day
It happens to everyone. One day you are eating and breathing everything horse related. The next day, it takes everything you have to head to the barn and do the chores. What happened? Where did the spark go? Will it always be this way? Here are some tips for rekindling your equine energy!

Everyone procrastinates about doing barn chores. Face it, there is nothing glamorous about mucking stalls, right? The thought of cleaning tack or organizing tack rooms can quickly have you running for the hills. Rather than trying to tackle everything at once in a single day, space your chores out by making a schedule of what you would like to complete. Setting aside time for each task will keep you from being overwhelmed by everything that must be done.

 Music is a terrific median to get you in the mood for barn work. Take along a radio while you are mucking stalls and you may find yourself keeping the beat with each forkful you toss into the wheelbarrow.

Tack cleaning and tack room organizing will give you an opportunity to either get rid of old, unused items or determine that you really need to purchase something you must have in your collection. There are many venues for selling gently used and still useful tack items. The potential of making a few extra dollars can be motivational in completing these tasks.

If there are others whose help you can enlist to tackle barn chores, you will find their company and conversation a positive catalyst in getting your chores finished, with less boredom while doing them.

Once those pesky barn chores are done, reward yourself in some little way.

If you have lost interest in riding, you may want to change how you ride. There are so many different avenues to explore when riding. Consider signing up to participate in riding clinics, where you and your horse can work on your partnership. Switch to a different riding discipline. If you have always been a western rider, sign up for some English riding lessons, perhaps exploring dressage or jumping.  How does cow work sound? You could try your hand at team penning or sorting. Have you ever wondered what it was like to “chase cans” or run the poles?  Participate in a drill team; many areas have established teams that entertain crowds with their choreographed cadence. Cowboy shooting has really gained a big following in recent years, and is full of speed, excitement, and fun.

Consider riding with a new group of friends or visit trail riding venues you have always wanted to check out. Visit a dude ranch where you can participate in a cattle drive.

Even when you may feel the sparks have died, I promise you the embers are still burning and can be rekindled to once again to bring you happily back to horse crazy!

(by: Darlene M. Cox)