Organize Your Tack Trunk
A tangle of leather items… dirty polo wraps… old granola bar wrappers… despite our best intentions, busy lives and limited time at the barn can turn a tack trunk into a catch-all junk trunk. If you can’t ride on a specific day, why not take the time you would’ve spent on a lesson and devote it to reorganizing your personal space? You’ll enjoy your barn time a lot more when your gear is neat and clean, and every time you open your trunk you’ll go “ahhh…” instead of “blah…” If you’re lucky enough to have your own tack room rather than trunk, grab a vacuum, some empty boxes, and clean in there, as well!
This is another chore that tends to get sidelined when days are busy, but it’s really not a bad job, especially if you use the right (read: fun!) approach. If it’s rainy outside anyway, why not gather up all your tack, put on a great horsey movie, and work your way through each item? Think how far ahead you’ll be for the season!
Plan for Show Season
Spring means that the heart of show season is just around the corner, so spend one rainy day researching show dates, considering classes, planning road trips, and creating a shopping list of horse show essentials like new grooming tools, tack, buckets, etc… Call friends and find out who’s going to which shows, then make plans accordingly. It’s easy to fall behind on horse-related paperwork and records, so use some of your rainy-day down time to finish as much of your show-related paperwork as you can.
Plan Your Trail Season
Maybe you’re more of a trail rider than a show fan. While muddy spring trails may not be the greatest for riding, things will dry up soon. Where are you going this year? What trails do you want to tackle? Will your horse need additional training or conditioning in order to do it? Indoor time is perfect for pondering questions like these, and it’s also the perfect time to get out those maps to plan your route! There’s a big world out there… why not see it by horseback?
Even if you can’t ride, you can brush! Get out the grooming tools and tackle manes, tails, and mud stains. If your horse is still hanging on to some stubborn bits of winter coat, work on that, and while you’re at it—enjoy the process!
How do you like to spend non-riding weather days?
Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009). She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. Follow her on Twitter: @miraclewelsh.