It happens to all of us. Some more than others, but the riding slump is bound to hit you at some point. Not even professionals are safe from it.
It’s OK to go through times like this, as life isn’t always pretty. However, when I find that I’m not bouncing back into it after a week or two, I have a few tried and true methods to get me back in the barn.
1 . Sign up for a show.
This one is my favorites and most used. By signing up for a horse show, you’re actually forced to ride. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure. To me – that’s motivation enough.
2 . Take a lesson.
This one is also a favorite of mine. Typically, I always ride best in my lessons. Maybe it’s because I’m paying for it, maybe it’s because I don’t want to embarrass myself, or disappoint my trainer – whatever the reason, I ride best in my lessons. There is nothing like a good ride to kick things back into gear.
3 . Buy new tack or riding gear.
Nothing makes me want to go to the barn more than a new bit, bridle, or pair of breeches. I’m often so eager to see how I like new products, or to see how my horse likes them – that I rush to the barn.
4 . Make a date with a friend.
I love this one because it 1 – forces you to ride, and 2 -you get to spend time with friends. My favorite is a trip to Hitchcock Woods, our local trail riding spot, or scheduling an offsite school where we can all meet and ride together. It’s fun to school XC – even if you’re not an eventer. Trying something new with friends is a great way to get over your riding slump.
5 . Watch others ride.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes even watching a five minute video of Charlotte and Valegro on YouTube is enough to send me to the barn. Whether you watch a live stream online, a YouTube video, or physically go to a horse show – watching others always motivates me to want to do better myself, and the only way to do that is to get my behind in the saddle.