Am I mad? As a horse owner what can there possibly be to look forward to in winter – yes, I hear you. Let’s face it, the cooler winter months can be bloody hard work and it can feel like it drags on for eternity. But hey, we do live in England and we should probably be used to it by now. We have been absolutely spoilt with such a beautiful summer this year and I think we have all made the most of it. But, after such a beautiful summer the thought of de-icing the car at 5:45am can seem somewhat depressing.
However, if we don’t welcome the autumn/winter with open arms, instead greeting it with a grumpy face and a grunt of a hello, what can we expect? I actually think there is lots to look forward to over the cooler months and I hope I can inject some excitement, or at least a little more positivity into the season transition for you.
For a start, there’s no longer the need to get up and ride at the crack of dawn to beat the heat and the ground is softening up meaning more opportunities to get back out for a good long canter through the woods or around the field!
But more than that, after a really successful summer of competing, beach rides, long hacks, schooling success and clinics, now is a great time to reflect on all of that and get back down to the business of learning, teaching and progression. Whilst the competitions quieten down you can use this time to learn more and enhance your skills ready for the following season. Give yourself some goals for next year and set to work on achieving them. Whilst saying that, the horses do actually get a bit of down time in these months I think. Although training may be in full swing, there isn’t the pressure of regular competitions and events to go to, so they get to chill a bit too.
Warm cosy jumpers, thermal socks and snoods. I have to say I do love winter fashion (both yard and day-to-day). I can think of nothing better than layering up and getting all of my favourite winter clothes out of the wardrobe. There is some super lovely riding items out for the winter too, so why not grab yourself a few new riding staples and you’ll soon be wishing for the cooler weather so you can put your new outfit on. I always think I ride better when I have a new stylish outfit on too, don’t you?
Beautiful crisp autumnal hacks, the woods are a sea of yellows, reds and orange – I love those types of hacks. You can get all wrapped up, get the exercise sheets out and go out and enjoy the countryside in all its autumn glory! And after this year, it will make a welcome change for the horses to not be hacking out in the blazing heat too, I won’t miss the super sweaty hat hair after only going for a walk around the woods!
Pub lunches, mulled wine and pumpkin spice lattes. There’s nothing better than either heading to your local country pub or getting home and sitting by the fire, warming up with your favourite winter beverage, after a morning out at the stables. It’s always well deserved and I really look forward to getting back, warming up and feeling cosy. Shame the horses can’t come with us – I’m sure they’d love to come and get cosy by the fire too.
I’m quite lucky I guess because I actually really love the colder months. But don’t get me wrong, I do not miss trudging through the mud, getting bitterly cold rain lashing at my face and de-icing the car at unsociable hours. What are you looking forward to this autumn/winter? Come on, even if you hate it I dare you to think of just one thing you might be looking forward to. I promise, it’ll make things a whole lot better if you can shed a bit of positivity on the coming seasons.