Hello All and a Happy New Year!
This time of year, motivation can be incredibly difficult. If you live in the northern hemisphere like me, the shorter, darker days and grim weather can leave you feeling drained and unmotivated, and despite the ‘new year new me’ narratives that are currently floating around…you may find yourself feeling a little stuck and stagnant when it comes to life with your horse.
First of all, please know, this is OK, and totally normal.
Believe it or not, we are meant to actually slow down in winter. Winter is a time for reflection, hibernation, and recalibration. Society nowadays will tell you otherwise, and we have all been conditioned to just keep going and to ‘do,do,do’ whatever the time of year.
But think for a moment about what the rest of the planet does this time of year. By planet, I mean, the earth, and nature, not us humans. Animals hibernate or slow down, allowing more time for rest and sleep, and trees shed their leaves, preserving their energy. Nature is showing us the importance of restoration, and doing less, in order to blossom, bloom, and come alive again in the spring and into the rest of the year. The trees and animals don’t just keep pushing all year round, because they’d burn out…so why do we?
Unless you’re competing or have pressing things you need to be doing with your horse over the winter (or you’re lucky enough to have an indoor arena and hot water etc)…it is OK to slow down and pair back your work with your horse over the winter.
So many of us feel pressured to keep ‘doing’, and then feel frustrated or disappointed when we can’t ‘work’ our horses this time of year. What about, if we looked at this time of year as a time to relax a little, to spend time just ‘being’ with our horses, maybe working on some ‘lighter’ and alternative things with our horses like trick training or working on things we wouldn’t normally make the time to do, like trailer loading or mounting block training?
If you’re reading this and you have been feeling frustrated about the lack of daylight or the extreme mud we’ve been having, please know you are not alone, and cut yourself some slack! This isn’t a race, and slowing down and allowing you and your horse some rest time this winter is totally ok.
If you are feeling the need to feel like you’re doing ‘something’, I happen to have two things that will help you!
1. I ran a lovely 2 hour Goal Setting for Equestrians Workshop last night to help you set aligned goals for the coming year with your horse, if you’d like to grab your copy of the recording, drop me an email at email@example.com and I’ll send you the payment details and the link! (recording priced at £12)
2. For some more ideas of things you can do this winter with your horse in short sessions to add more variety to your routine, I have some Winter PDFS you can download for just £5.55! Click the link for more info! https://www.idyllwildhorsemanship.com/product/12-winter-training-ideas-digital-guide/
Otherwise, I’ll see you back here soon with another blog, and the good news is, the days will keep getting longer from here on out, and hopefully, the weather will get better too!
Happy New Year All!