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Staying motivated in the winter.

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  • Staying motivated in the winter.

    Winter is setting in where I live (kind of up north) and it is just sucking all the motivation right out of me. I am in total hibernation mode right now. But with the wet and cold I just don't want to face the barn.

    But I have goals so it's really bugging me. I can't meet my goals without working the horse.

    How are you staying motivated?

  • #2
    I am with you. I am not sure about you, but once it is cold and stays that way I am much better than I am right now. I hate when the weather changes from day to day. I like nice and sunny, or I like cold. I don't like this inbetween stuff.

    Right now on the cold nights I think, oh it will be better tomorrow, so I will work then. I am also currently avoiding the inevitable of having to work in the indoor.

    Not much help I know, but I will be looking at the response you get to see if they help me out in anyway.


    • #3
      I am with you. It is cold here in Wisconsin. I would love to hibernate but it isn't possible with 3 horses to care for. I board, but they still depend on me for their exercise etc. I keep myself going by telling myself the only way my boy and I are going to make it to Nationals next year is a lot of time together in the saddle. Once I get out there I am ok, well cold, but ok. I also dress warm - under armor, carhart jacket, hat etc. so the weather isn't as bad as when I am in my office clothes leaving work.

      I also have another horse that I am trying to get back into the show ring, I refuse to give up on him so he is another reason I haul myself out there 7 days a week. It is only November - I think it is going to be a long winter if I am complaining already.


      • #4
        Originally posted by ArabX3 View Post
        It is only November - I think it is going to be a long winter if I am complaining already.
        I think that is the issue. We all get a bit intimidated by the weather change at the outset. Then after a couple of weeks our bodies get used to it and it's no big deal.


        • #5
          So far, here in the North Western corner of Virginia, the weather can't really make up it's mind on what it wants to do. My Barn has already had snow flurries. I hate that I missed that, but they sit in the valley between the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah.

          It's cold one day, windy the next and by the time I leave work at 5PM, it's dark outside. Absolutely NO motovation during the week and I KNOW I must continue to work Pete and work on my confidence and riding lessons.

          And it doesn't help that I'm considering bringing on another horse this week for a trial period. Our Indoor is up, but the footing isn't in yet and the BO is using it for storage so it limits the area of use, plus Pete freeks if I ask him to go inside.

          Riding outside at night is no big deal, both round pen and arena have lights, and if it's only just cold and not windy, it's not that big of a deal, but if it's windy, I can't here my trainer.

          So, I too will be watching your thread, thanks for posting. I hate being cold, my body hurts far worse in the cold than it does in the heat.

          ~Kerri & Pete
          Chronicle of My Horse
          Secret Passage Ranch
          **a member of the
          Riders with Fibromyalgia & Adult Re-riders Clique


          • #6
            Look for us "horseless riders" in the appropriately named thread and see if anyone of us lives near you and would like to take turns exercising your horse(s.) I'm up for it - New England winters can't bring me down


            • #7
              I actually seem to ride more in the winter than I do in the summer since there isn't much to do here in the WET Pacific Northwest. I have set days that I ride (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) and I only let myself out of it for something extreme. The times that I seem to lack motivation is when it is raining cats and dogs and I have to load up to go over to my trainers barn but I just force myself.

              I also try to have some pretty big goals so I know that I have to work hard to achieve them.
              RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
              May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
              RIP San Lena Peppy
              May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


              • #8
                As a rider in northern Ontario, my motivation to keep riding is that the horses are CRAZY when they don't get their regular exercise!!

                Fit horse + less turnout + crappy footing in turnout = WAY too much energy!!

                We ride and do lessons until -25C.
                Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


                • #9
                  Mix up your work!

                  Being stuck in the indoor is an excellent opportunity to work without stirrups and improve your leg strength / position.

                  Do a games lesson. (helps if your instructor is versed in games, but it is fun)

                  I don't ride less in the winter, or else I'd have to do all the work again that I did to get the small amount of competence I have going now, again in the spring. Nuh uh. No way!
                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                  • #10
                    For me the most important thing in the winter is lessons. It makes me schedule a time to ride my horse, makes me drag myself out to work with him so that I keep in shape, and gives me little week-to-week goals to work on. But I admit that I still only make it to the barn on weekends... though my horse is perfectly happy turned out and playing in the snow with no annoying woman to make him do stuff. (:
                    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                    Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                    • #11
                      This is why I love being a pleasure/trail rider. Don't feel like riding? So I just don't. My mare's snugged up in her turnout sheet, I still go out and feed her snacks and say hello, so she's not complainin either!

                      Don't feel like ya HAVE to go out and ride. You're not gonna enjoy your ride if you're forcing yourself into the saddle!
                      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                      • #12
                        It isn't even cold here, and the short days are sucking the motivation out of me! I can't imagine having to brave snow and frigid temperatures!


                        • #13
                          We have open ride nights here every Wednesday. All the boarders come. I teach - for free anyone interested. What matters is we RIDE - no matter what!

                          Get your barn mates together for a ride no matter what night every single week - two ride nights if you can. They are FUN!
                          "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                          • #14
                            Oh, that reminds me of another reason I don't get motivated in the winter. The weather changes from warm to cool to overcast to breezy, and the horses are always nutty!


                            • #15
                              I don't ride as much in the winter because our ring freezes alot :[ and we don't have an indoor. So, I go for bareback trail rides and I work on carrot stretches, belly tickle/back lifts, etc. in the barn aisle. I also work towards curing my horse's clipper fear (which makes me even less motivated to ride when the ring footing is okay because his furry butt takes forver to dry off!)

                              I try to get in the saddle whenever I can, but when I can't/don't want to - inside work!


                              • #16
                                My advice - find a tanning salon!

                                UV light does wonders for the winter blues.

                                Dont over do it so that everyone thinks you just got back from Cancun, but enough to lift your mood.

                                I had winter depression one year and went 1-2x/week starting out at 4 or so minutes and eventually working up to 8/9 minutes. I started feeling so much better and it doesn't hurt that you will have that healthy glow when everyone else is pasty white

                                Disclaimer: everyone's skin is different so do your reasearch before figuring out how much UV exposure you should start at
                                ~ Scarborough Fair Farm ~


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks all. I usually am pretty adaptable to the weather changes/season changes since I try to ride 5-6 days a week. But this fall... I dunno. I just want to curl up and sleep. Midlife something? I am going to be 40 next year.


                                  But not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.


                                  • #18
                                    I had a conversation with my boss and explained that I planned to take noon to 2pm off every Wednesday for a riding lesson, and that I planned to stay late on Wednesday evening to make up the time. This schedule would be in effect for November, December and January. He said ok. I'm 53 and have been with the company for 23 years, so cut the old lady some slack! I am sick and tired of leaving work when it's dark, and riding outside in the cold and shadows, or trying to ride in the indoor with a large group. I should have done this years ago.
                                    It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                                    www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                                    • #19
                                      And check out the "backyard polo" thread in Off Course; turns out several folks find games a great way to keep winter interesting. I bought my broom and ball today...training begins in earnest tomorrow.


                                      • #20
                                        Change into your riding clothes in your nice warm office, get in the car and drive to the barn. Just do it. Don't give yourself the option to not go. Your goals aren't going to achieve themselves, and it's simply not fair to your horse if you are taking lessons and setting goals to not keep his fitness up and give him a regular routine.

                                        For me, there are days in the winter where it simply isn't safe to drive to the barn after work--no guarantee I'll make it back over the pass and up my mountain afterwards if there's a snowstorm, (I've already had one white knuckle drive this winter, and it's only November...) so the days I can get down there, I take full advantage of.

                                        One good motivation is the amount of money I spend on board... I'm darned well going to get my money's worth out of the facilities!