Make this Winter an Opportunity

Make this Winter an Opportunity

In this next blog in our winter series we hear from confidence expert Jane Brindley of Horse Riding with Confidence Scotland. Jane has worked with a variety of riders to much success- so should know a thing or two about getting the most out of yourself in any season.

In my opinion we have a choice about how we view the season of winter. We can either spend the next few months moaning about it being too dark, too cold, too wet, too muddy or we can embrace this time of year and think of it as an opportunity.

So here are my tips for some winter motivation.

  1. Accept that we live in Scotland (or elsewhere in the UK/Europe/Northern hemisphere) where the winter days are short and, let’s face it, it rains a lot! There is nothing we can do to change that. So, as always have a think about what you are saying to yourself eg ‘This is awful’. If you’re constantly telling yourself that something is awful then that is what you believe. So, change it round into seeing it as an opportunity eg ‘At least there are no flies!’
  2. Have a look at your goals. How did you get on during the summer months? Is there anything that you need to work on? Once again, look at it as an OPPORTUNITY.
  3. Are there any situations which you are avoiding eg riding on windy days or avoiding those shadowy corners in the arena? Yet another OPPORTUNITY to do some de-sensitisation work.
  4. No where safe to ride? Guess what? Another OPPORTUNITY! Group together with some friends and hire an indoor arena. Make plans to ride out with other people. (You’re much more likely to do it if it’s in the diary).
  5. Be nice to yourself. Dress warmly. Use plenty of moisturiser and lip balm. Wear bright colours. Drink hot chocolate. Go for a sauna. Think warming thoughts.
  6. Missing the shows and events? You’ve got it! Another OPPORTUNITY! Investigate Winter leagues and arena events. Sign up and make a commitment. Check back on your goals and measure your progress.
  7. Work on your fitness. Use the OPPORTUNITY to sign up for a pilates class. Go for brisk walks with the dog. Do some strength training. Set yourself up for the spring.
  8. Pamper your horse. If the weather is too bad to ride spend time with your horse instead. Give him a good groom and thorough check over. Adjust his feeding as necessary. Give your tack a deep clean.
  9. And if you really can’t ride….. Don’t feel guilty, your horse won’t mind having time off. Enjoy the extra time with family or non-horsey friends. Read a book by the fire. Make plans and set goals for 2019 ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY So, I hope you enjoy the Winter Season and do let me know how you intend to make the most of the opportunities which come your way.For more information see
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