Maximizing Limited Saddle Time

Has the recent weather kept you from riding as often as you’d like? Maybe you just can’t get to the barn due to puddles, mud and more puddles? Instead of letting the lack of saddle time get you down here are some ways to maximize growth and learning when not in the saddle.

Staying Fit
Riding, for many of us, is our main form of exercise. Less riding can mean loss of stamina and overall fitness — but it doesn’t have to!  No gym is required, just motivation to strap on a pair of running shoes and hit the sidewalks or the beach. (Running in sand is a great way to build up endurance). For those who can, joining a gym can be a great motivator for exercising. Many gyms offer fun classes like yoga, spin, cross-fit, Zumba and kickboxing. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised and you have health issues or concerns, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first.

1025141147

Your friend’s can help motivate you!

Staying Limber
Downtime from the saddle can be a time to regain and improve flexibility. A physical therapist, yoga instructor, or physical fitness trainer can help you build a regimen of stretching, strength training, massage, or other alternative therapies you may need to get back into tip-top shape. Stretching has the added positive effects of increasing body awareness which translates to increased awareness in the saddle. As rider’s we’ve probably have had falls and riding related injuries. Many of us are stoic and will work through minor aches and pains when we shouldn’t. We all know someone who pushes themselves more than they should. Staying flexible can help us heal faster and more completely. Remember if you don’t use your flexibility you’ll lose your flexibility!

20160703_091620

Learning from varied sources
Lack of saddle time does not necessarily equal lack of time learning. You can commit yourself to going down and watching local rated and unrated horse shows in person or online. So many competitions are available to watch either on premium channels for a fee or for free on YouTube, regardless if they are happening today or in the past (and of course you can visualize your show rides of the future). There may also be clinics happening in your area that you can go audit. Mary’s Tack and Feed hosts events and seminars The local library, tack store or book store are great sources of knowledge with plenty of riding and horse care books and DVD’s that can be checked out or purchased. If your schedule allows it and your trainer approves, auditing barn mates and friend’s lessons is a great auditory and visual learning tool.

Limited saddle time doesn’t mean you need to backslide on your progress. By finding the right balance between fitness, flexibility and continued learning

New Year’s Resolutions…For Your Horse

banner

Pssst…. Attention all equines! Yes, this blog is for YOU!

The New Year is here and your human counterparts are going to be busy trying to reinvent themselves. Things may even get a little nutty. So, we’ve come up with some resolutions you can make for yourself and tips on how to stick with them!

 

GET IN SHAPE… I mean, don’t…

Many of your humans will resolve to lose weight or get in better shape after the New Year. This resolution, as popular as it is, usually fizzles out in a month. Poor, human.

How can you help? Gain weight so they look better by comparison!

A trick to this is to convince everyone you haven’t eaten and are on the brink of starvation. It’s all in the eyes. ANY person who walks by, give them a sorrowful look and reach out to their pockets. The treats within may end up in your feeder, instead of that other horse. You’ll pack on the pounds faster than you think!

weights

TAKE UP YOGA

If you do have to work on your physique, consider yoga. Good for the body, mind and soul. A basic move you can start with is Upward Hoof. Lay down on the ground and reach all four hooves up to the sky. It might take a couple attempts, but keep rolling over until you accomplish the move. This is especially invigorating after a bath.

Another move is Tree Salute. Firmly plant all feet and slowly lean forward and stretch your neck up toward a tree branch. Then stretch your lips out. Eat some leaves. Ignore anyone who yells at you- you are in “the zone.”

 

QUIT CRIBBING

Aside from being a nuisance to others, cribbing is an unhealthy habit that can cause many long-term issues. Cessation products like cribbing collars, stall toys that can give distraction and natural remedies can help be a part of your quitting support team.

eat

EAT OUT MORE OFTEN

Get to know your local flavors by partaking in roadside buffets. You’ve seen them while walking by on the trail, especially during the spring. Fresh, flowering herbs can bring such delight to an equine pallet. Take advantage of a loose rein and reach for a snack.

You can also check in with what your neighbor is dining on. Their grain has to be better than what you have.

 

TRAVEL MORE

Resolve your fear of travel and take the brave leap into that shiny, metal, moving box! It is not a monster trying to eat you… give it a good kick and see for yourself… see? Give it another kick, for good measure. Told you so. Trailering in comfortable gear can help ease travel stress. Consider splurging on a shipping halter and boots to aid in your relaxation… and protect yourself from any “trust kicks” along the journey.

travel

If you have any questions about products that can help make your New Year’s resolutions stick, have your human call the friendly staff at Mary’s Tack and Feed at (800)551-MARY. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve your goals!