Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Motivated

It's only a few days into 2016, and my question of the day is how everyone keeps themselves motivated!

This is a bit of a tough time of the year - there simply aren't enough daylight hours to get all the things done. Today, for example, I woke up at 6 am to get to the barn. The snow we had is melting into a big yucky mess. Drove, mucked out the barn, had just enough daylight to start on the paddock, the poop mixed with slushy snow and mud turning it into a backbreaking and time consuming task, then had to leave for my real job. After my real job, I'll have to head back for my lesson, and will likely have to finish mucking with a flashlight later tonight. Ginger will have to wait for tomorrow. I won't get home til 9-ish and I am in dire need of some groceries and clean laundry, not to mention a larger savings account. These are the days when I feel completely burnt out and just want to run far, far away from work and horses and go hide on a nice sunny beach somewhere.

 Experience tells me though, that about 2 days into that sunshine-y vacation I'm wondering where the nearest stable is. Heaven help Mr G if there are horses in sight of our hotel, or even worse, people riding on the beach :) The place we stayed at last year in San Jose Del Cabo had a whole stable of shiny, happy, grey Iberian type horses right next door - it took all my self control not to spend a million dollars to rent one every morning and gallop up the beach :)
These horses paraded past our hotel every morning. Photo from website HERE

The few tricks I have to stay motivated/on track in winter:

-Be super organized. If I'm hungry or tired or forgot my boots (or some days, even need to stop for gas!) it's an easy excuse to skip the barn after work. If my riding gear is clean and ready, I have water and snacks, and the rest of my life is (somewhat) under control, it's a lot easier to keep the barn a priority.

-Related to above- Dress/Groom for Success! I make myself braid and detangle tails and pull manes weekly. I pick and disinfect hooves daily. The horses both wear sheets to help keep them clean. My clothes and tack are neat and clean and my boots are shiny. I try to dress appropriately for the weather and pack a spare coat and socks just in case temps change. Keeping up with the above makes it a lot less likely I'll get overwhelmed with the day to day stuff and will be able to fit in riding time.

-Reading blogs and watching videos. Seriously, reading about and watching videos of other's enjoyment and successes with their horses is one of the best ways to keep me motivated to continue with my own.

-Try to live in the moment. Or if the moment is like this morning - freezing cold, dark, wet, and mucky...try to live a little in the future, when it will be dry, warm, and sunny, with daylight hours stretching long past the amount I need to get all the things done :)

What are your best tips and tricks?

13 comments:

  1. These are great tips! I have a hard time staying motivated when it's pitch black and freezing outside at 6:00 AM when I leave for the barn. This will sound super corny, but I usually just repeat my mantra of "The horse won't get any better if you don't ride it" a few times; it motivates me to get out of bed and get going!

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  2. I love those tips! I hope you stay on track this New Year. This is the first year that I am super motivated about my goals, so I hope I am more determined to stay on track!

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  3. I have to go straight to the barn from work. If it's cold and I stop by my house, I'm more likely to make an excuse to stay home in the warmth!

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    1. Ohhh, yes...I can't even turn the vehicle anywhere but towards the barn, forget stopping anywhere!

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  4. Staying motivated is so hard! The cold weather kills me.

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    1. The cold and the darkness totally gets me.

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  5. It's SO hard to stay motivated when the conditions are cold and dark and footing is bad - but I tell myself that TODAY is always a good day to ride, and every minute I spend in the saddle, no matter what we end up doing, is at the very least increasing our fitness. It's one more minute of riding ahead of someone who chooses to stay home and sit on the couch!

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    1. Love this. I think a bit of my issues can be self doubt too, there are days when I feel like my hard work might only make the pony worse lol

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  6. Sometimes I find it nearly impossible to drag my body out from under a blanket and to the barn. But I try to remember that I NEVER regret it once I'm there. I also second Kat's idea. I won't stop by my house if I'm going to the barn at night.

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    1. There are very, very few nights when I actually regret riding! Maybe we need to invent a blanket/sleeping bag with arms and legs and a full seat to ride in :)

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  7. reading everyone else's blogs is how i stay motivated and inspired too!! other little mental acrobatics include trying to convince myself that the hardest part is just getting there, but that i rarely regret it once i'm actually doing it. another thing i do tho is not beat myself up for taking a day off. the will to slog through gets tired sometimes haha

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