by American Stalls January 17, 2024
As we ring in the new year, the tradition of making resolutions often comes to mind. Some people love the challenge of making resolutions and then seeing what they can accomplish throughout the year, while others may not make it through the first week without giving up. Often, the resolutions that we make can be difficult to keep like hitting the gym every day or giving up junk food, which makes it too easy to quit before even getting started. For equestrians though, including our horses in the resolutions might just make them worth keeping all year long. Here are some resolution ideas for 2024:
Spend More Quality Time in the Barn – For horse lovers, it might be hard to not spend too much time in the barn, but this is about quality not quantity. Think about a typical trip to the barn and how much time is spent doing different activities, then analyze if there might be a way you could structure your routine to provide more time in the saddle or more time for other activities like groundwork or grooming? If you find that most of your barn time is taken up with chores, it might be time to re-think barn operations and come up with a solution so that there is more time spent enjoying your horse.
Organize Your Horse Life – Once you start thinking about more ways to be efficient in the barn, you might start seeing a need for re-organizing tack rooms, feed rooms, grooming areas and aisleways. The new year is a great time to think about how we can clean up spaces and organize them so that they are tidy and functional. This can range from where blankets are hung, to making spaces for cleaning and stowing everything from tack to extra buckets. Don’t forget to organize your calendar too, the beginning of the year is a great time to make plans for horse related events and schedule appointments.
Invest in Lessons and Training – One thing that horses teach us is that there is always something more to learn. There are so many ways to gain knowledge about anything horse related. Maybe the plan is to send your young horse off to a trainer, or just add some additional lessons throughout the year. There are also other fun ways to learn from participating in clinics or auditing in person or on-line programs that are offered by professionals. Watching videos of competitions, reading books and listening to podcasts are also great ways to keep learning. By mapping out a plan for your year, you can see the progress you are making with each educational activity.
Try Something New – Horse people can sometimes get stuck in a rut, doing the same activities with our horse’s day to day and year to year. This year, why not resolve to try something different? Maybe you take a lesson at another barn in a completely different style of riding or try out a different breed? If you compete with your horse, why not make a goal of trying a different show location or adding a new event? For those who typically work in an arena, try venturing out for a trail ride. Changing things up can be good for you and your horse, you may find a whole new way to enjoy your horse life.
Start Thinking Green – Maybe this year, it is time to think about how you can make your horse barn more environmentally friendly. There are so many ways to implement greener management practices when it comes to our barn spaces. One of the most obvious ways is by utilizing composting for manure management. By composting, it creates a usable product from waste and prevents runoff into waterways that is often caused by spreading manure. Even just swapping out common products like fly sprays and shampoos for items that don’t contain harsh chemicals can prevent toxic runoff and are healthier for horses and humans. Thinking about plans for recycling in the barn or using products that are better for the environment is a great place to start. Local extension offices can provide information on how to start implementing environmentally friendly changes at your horse farm.
Give Back – Part of being a horse person is often joining a community of individuals with similar interest in events, breeds, trail riding or other programs. While we may participate in an organization’s events, shows or activities, this year might be a good time to think about giving back to the groups you are involved with. This can mean volunteering your time at a local show in the office or doing something to help with the preparations if you will be participating. There are also many great rescue organizations that could use the help of someone that has some horse knowledge or would benefit from gently used donated items.
Renovations – The new year is also a great time for updates in your physical space. This time of year is perfect for planning for spring and summer projects around the barn. Are your horse stalls in need of a facelift? Do you need to add more stalls for additional horses? Thinking of adding more pasture or horse stall runs? If any of these projects are in your future, getting information on how to make it happen should be on your list of things to do. There are so many ways to enhance and customize a barn to make it a place that is perfect for you and your horses.
New Years Resolutions do not have to be stressful, they are just an opportunity to set an intention to accomplish things that we really want to do. It should be about having fun and creating meaningful changes, which can happen when we combine our goals with something we really love, like our horses.
At American Stalls, we can help make some of your resolutions a reality. Take the first step by filling out our Consultation Form and one of our expert Project Managers would love to assist you. You can reach our team at (855) 957-8255 or email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon!