Three simple tips to transform the February Funk to Focus and get on track to achieve your horsemanship dreams.
As I write this, it is below zero with extreme wind chills. Not exactly inspiring weather to get out and ride!
February is always a tough month. Gone is the excitement of the holidays, and January’s energy to new year’s resolutions has been sapped away and frozen. Did you know that by February over 85% of people have given up on their new year’s resolutions? While the days are getting longer, February has an energy of exhaustion. We are tired of winter. We are tired of cold. We are tired of snow. Simply, we are tired.
If you keep your horses at home, I feel you. After feeding and chores on a frigid February day, I want to do is thaw the icicles out of my hair and eyelashes, put my frozen feet in front of a heater and wrap my popsicle fingers around a cup of hot cocoa and snuggle under a blanket and not come out until June!
Then I look at the calendar, and see that show season starts in three months.
Three months is not a lot of time, especially when I know that I can only ride 3 days a week. So in those 3 months, I figure that I will be able to get in 36 rides. 36 rides is not a lot of time, especially when I look at the super big goals that I have for me and my horse!
Taking that into consideration, those excuses of “it is too cold to ride,” and “ I have tons of time before show season to prepare,” start to sound a little ridiculous.
So I pull on my wool socks and long johns, wrap up in my favorite scarf, and trudge out into the artic blast.
Here are three super simple tips that help me to find my motivation and get focused on my horse goals during February.
1. Preparation is everything.
Set yourself up for success! From warm clothes to be more comfortable riding in cold weather, to tack adjustments to help your horse, having proper equipment will help you to overcome the “it is too cold excuse.” Also, make sure you have a safe place to ride. Some riders will board their horses during cold months, or trailer to an indoor arena. Having good footing out of the ice to lunge and get the fresh out of horses that are feeling frisky makes everyone happier.
2. What gets scheduled gets done.
Schedule your rides. Write it down on your planner or put it in your calendar. Tell your family your plans. Enlist your support system to help you stick to your schedule and keep you accountable.
3. Reverse Engineer your goals to make successful riding plans.
Don't just aimlessly wander around during your winter rides. Have 1 or 2 specific things that you want to work on during every ride. How do you figure out what you need to work on? By reverse engineering- that is, starting at the end point, your goal, and working your way backwards. For example, let's say your goal for is to show in a trail classes in May. What steps do you need to take to be prepared? Look at the trail class requirements, what might be asked of you. It might be working a gate, crossing a bridge, getting mail out of a mailbox, dragging a log, side passing poles, etc. Can you complete all of these tasks? If not, which ones are challenging for you and your horse? What do you need to do to prepare yourself and your horse? You might want to schedule a lesson, build a bridge obstacle, or start getting the mail on your horse. Put these things into your planner/calendar! Schedule a few rides to work on side passing. Plan a few sessions to desensitize your horse to ropes and the log drag. It takes time to reverse engineer your goals, but by picking one of those frigid and windy days to cuddle up with a notebook and your planner to make yourself a clear path to your goals, you will build the motivation to get out there and get to work!
What goals are you working to get focused on this month? I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below!