The summer seems to have officially ended and the cold weather is starting to creep in. So I think this would be the perfect time to bring you some of my top tips for getting through this winter as well as reminding you of some of our winter product reviews.
- Dig out those thermals!
I don’t know about you, but once my legs are cold, it can take hours for them to warm up. Find what works for you before it gets too cold. Last winter I reviewed two different types of equetech underbreeches (fleece lined and chilblains protection) and HKM winter breeches.
- Stock up on gloves
I am terrible for losing gloves. So I tend to buy lots of cheap pairs and leave them in lots of different places. A pair in my car, a pair in each coat, a pair in my riding hat, a pair in my grooming box. They may not be the best or warmest gloves in the world but this way I should always have a pair of gloves nearby when I need them.
- Be seen
With shorter days and undesirable weather, you nearly always end up hacking in gloomy weather. Make sure you have some HiVis ready for the winter. That summer HiVis T shirt isn’t going to cut it now! Last winter I reviews the EquiSafety Asprey jacket and Winter exercise sheet.
- Get your rugs ready now
I love buying rugs and despite the severe lack of funds, I never need an excuse to buy another rug for Scottie. Looking out all your winter rugs now and check they still fit and are in working order. If you haven’t already got them cleaned, look into getting this done now. Otherwise you might be stuck in a tight spot and end up buying that 3rd 200g rug that your horse really doesn’t need!
- Do your jobs in the morning
I find it really hard to find the motivation to ride on days I am at work. What works best for me is to do all my jobs in the morning, so that when I get to the yard in the evening, all I have to do is ride and feed. Much harder to find an excuse to not ride!
- Have a rough riding plan
Similar to above, riding in the cold and dark after work is something I struggle to motivate myself to do. Scottie is only in light work and doesn’t need exercising every day, but I like to aim for him doing something at least 3-4 times a week. I manage this by having a plan like this:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Lunge Ride Lunge Ride Off Ride Ride 20 mins 30 mins 20 mins 30 mins 40+ mins 40+ mins
I aim to do at least 3 of these days each week. On a Friday I just want to go home and do nothing. So I never schedule anything for that day as I know I wont do it. I also find that aiming to ride for 30 mins during the week each time makes it seem a lot more manageable. It means that after warming up and cooling down you are only really working for 15 ish mins, but if I’m clear before I get on what I want to work on, this works very well for us. Plus once I’m on, I’m happier to stay and work longer on something, it’s the getting on I struggle with.
- Give your tack a really good clean now
There is nothing worse than cleaning tack on a cold day at the yard. Before the cold weather really starts, I like to give all my tack a really thorough clean, taking it all apart etc and then give it a quick wipe over each week or after a particularly sweaty ride. This usually means I don’t need to give it a proper deep clean again until it starts to get warmer.