Now Christmas and the new year is over we can get back to normal with our routines and no more excuses for skipping riding or avoiding jobs you’re ‘too busy’ to do!
1- Final clip!
Time to get your horse’s final clip of the year done, that’s if you don’t clip all year round any way! Many say that clipping your horse after January can affect their summer coats, so better to be safe than sorry and get it done in plenty of time!
2- Total makeover
Whilst your horse is looking smart with a fresh clip, you may as well do the job lot! Get manes pulled/tidied or hogged, tails and feathers sorted and a good general tidy up to prepare them for the beginning of the season! Also give your tack a spruce up ready for some pre-season training!
3- Health checks
Check your horse is up-to-date with their vaccinations, they’re teeth, backs and shoes. Also a visit from the saddle fitter to check they’re comfortable!
4- Clear out
Sort through all the rugs you haven’t used this winter and clear out your tack rooms. Things such as old numnahs that have been replaced by new ones at Christmas! Rugs, boots, tack, any equipment, sort it out and take it to your local equine car boot! You could spend the money you make on a new ‘Tottie maven saddlecloth’ for your horse!
5- Transport checks
Get your horsebox or trailer checked over after being stood over winter and check everything’s in working order. Also get anything that isn’t working fixed ready for the summer!
6- Competition planning!!
Get a planner or a diary and spend an evening scanning the Internet for competitions you’d like to go to this year. Start off with some training shows to get back into the swing of things then gradually build it up. This is a good way to set goals and stick to them if you know where you’re going every week/month.
7 – Training!
Remember to schedule time in between competitions for training! There’s no point going if you haven’t practiced! Book some lessons with your trainer to get you more motivated to what you need to work on! Training away from home is a great way for your horses to see new things and keep them occupied, so try and book a lesson at a different venue or hire it out!
Time to start slowly getting your horses fit again after a steady winter. Start off with short periods of time walking on the roads to strengthen their bones. Eventually adding a couple of minuets trot and hill work. Then schooling and jumping can begin. Taking your time to get your horse fit helps to set them up for the competition season and avoids any injuries from rushing the fittening process. Once your horse is a good level of fitness, taking them to the gallops and doing short bursts of fast work is a great way to get your canter work in without risking injury on boggy fields!
9- Check their diet
Review your feeding regime, if its working fine then leave it! “If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it”! However if you’re horse just receives a maintenance feed over winter but has a change when competing, then now is the time to start gradually making changes. All changes in feed should be made gradually as to not upset their digestive systems! Contact feed companies for any questions about nutrition.
Get to the sales and treat yourself and your horses to a new outfit, boots, rugs, saddle cloths ect! Tottie had an amazing January sale of up to 50% off! Keep an eye out for any more offers they have throughout this year!