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?