By Shannon Fox
Is there anything worse than waking up to go ride only to discover Mother Nature has dumped half a foot of snow on your pristine riding arena? Of course, even if you can’t ride, you’re not going to stay away from the barn in the snow. If you’re looking for things to do besides mucking stalls and chatting with your barn buddies, here are a few ideas to make the most of your time out of the saddle. When you decide what activity you are going to do at the barn, head over to Horse Tack Co.
for all of your barn needs and save 15% off your order by using the promo code "LoveTheRide"
upon checkout, all-the-time and anytime.
1) Clean Tack
Take this opportunity to give your tack a thorough cleaning. Even if you’re religious about cleaning your tack after every ride, you’re probably not scrubbing under and around every buckle on a regular basis. Use Fiebings Liquid Glycerine Soap
to clean all the sweat and dirt from your leather items and then follow it up with a leather conditioner like Fiebings Neatsfoot Oil
. For English and Western Bits, a toothbrush works well to get into all of the tiny crevices. If you want more horse tack cleaning tips, check out our guide here
2) Organize Your Gear For Show Season
Fiebings Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap
days are the perfect time to go through your show gear. Throw out those items that have seen better days and make a list of everything you need to replace. If you don’t already have a trunk or tub to keep all your show gear together, invest in one and spend the day filling it up. This will make packing for your next show a breeze. When you go home, make sure you go through your horse riding clothes and jackets as well.
3) Create a Donation Pile
While you’re going through your show stuff, chances are you’ll discover extra stable supplies or riding equipment that you don’t really need. Make a pile of horse equipment that you can resell or donate to a local therapeutic riding center. You can clear out the clutter and feel great about helping others at the same time!
4) Groom Your Horse
Make the most of a day off from riding by giving your horse a comprehensive grooming. Start by currying him with a Jelly Scrubber
to get off the loose hair and mud. Then brush him all over with a soft to medium brush like this one
. As you’re grooming, pay attention to his skin. Are his blankets
rubbing him anywhere? Does he have any usual lumps or bumps? Are there any new conditions that you need to take care of? It’s easy to miss the little things when you’re in a hurry to get to your lesson. Make up for it by examining your horse from head to hoof. If you plan to clip your horse, you’ll want to make sure he’s as clean as possible in order to avoid clipper marks and wearing out your blades. If it’s too cold to wash him, you may be able to use Show Sheen
in a pinch. And before you get started, make sure you have everything your clippers need to perform their best – Andis Blade Care Plus
acts as seven products in one.
5) Clean and Disinfect Your Grooming Tools
Jelly Scrubber Better Horse Groomer
As a rule, you should be cleaning and disinfecting all of your horse grooming tools on a regular basis. But if you’re like most owners, you probably can’t even remember the last time you sanitized your brushes and hoof pick. After you’re done grooming your horse, make sure you check this item off your to-do list – your horse’s skin will thank you.
6) Practice Braiding or Banding
Even if you always hire a professional to take care of your horse’s mane and tail at shows, you should also know how to braid or band yourself – just in case! Order yourself a braiding kit
or a pack of braiding bands
and watch an online tutorial before heading down to the barn on a snowy day. Without the pressure of having to get ready to compete, you can take as long as you need to master the technique.
7) Brush Up on Your Anatomy
Deluxe Braiding Belt Horses Manes and Tails - Braid Kit
Don’t know a fetlock from a pastern? Give yourself a refresher course on equine anatomy with an actual horse in front of you. You’ll feel a lot more confident the next time you have to call the vet.
8) Teach Your Horse a Trick
While this might not be the most practical activity on the list, it’s definitely the most fun. Keep your horse (and yourself) entertained by teaching him a trick or two! You can teach your horse to bow, smile, stand and wait, come on command, follow you around, or even how to give you a horsey hug. Just make sure you exercise caution and don’t teach him any bad tricks!
9) Bond With Your Horse
Even if the weather is yucky, you can still spend time bonding
with your horse. Hang out in his stall or pen, scratch him in all his favorite spots, and just slow down and enjoy being in his presence. You may be bummed that you can’t ride, but your horse will still be happy to see you.
Whatever you decide to do, remember to cherish quality time in your favorite place with your best friend. Horse Tack Co. has all of your cold weather essentials, don't forget to use the promo code “LoveTheRide” upon checkout to receive 15% off your order, all-the-time and anytime.
What are some of your favorite things to do at the barn in the winter? Leave us a comment below.