If you’ve decided to give your horse or pony a well-earned holiday in the field this winter, you might find yourself as a loose end for three or four months.
Here are 17 things horse owners who are currently horseless might attempt over winter…
1. Online dating
While you’ve always considered your horse to be the love of your life, the abundance of free time you now have in the evenings means you could possibly start looking for a two-legged individual to join your life. Requirements; tall, handsome and must not be allergic to animal hair.
2. Buy a new horse
How do you replace the horse-shaped void in your life? Drain your entire life savings on a similarly shaped replacement as a winter project.
3. Join a gym
If your horse is out at grass, the lack of mucking out, daily yard chores and riding, coupled with the wealth of food on offer at this time of year might not be the best for your waist line. With your horse losing some fitness over winter, if both of you are flagging in the new year, getting ready for next season might be more of a challenge.
4. Take up a sport
If the gym life isn’t for you, maybe joining a new sports team could be the answer to maintaining your fitness levels. The ‘team’ part might throw you off at first, as your used to the ‘every man for himself ’ philosophy of equestrian competition.
5. Meet up with other horse owners
Who’s up for a weekly meet up where we pine after long weekend hacks, horse shows and the smell of haylage?
6. Ride someone else’s horse
Not everyone chooses to give their horse some time off work, so take advantage of this and steal a few rides on an alternative mount so you’re not as rusty when your horse is brought back in to work. Especially as he’s likely to be feeling slightly fresh after some R&R…
7. Buy a third horse
Wealthy people with substantial acreage and stabling, see point 2.
8. Take a holiday
If you compete during the summer, chances are any spare funds are spent on entries, so get away for some sun or snow and experience what normal people call ‘a holiday.’
9. Get a part-time job
More to spend on achieving next season’s goals. Work now, play later.
10. Get married/have a baby
It’s likely that these momentous occasions were put in motion well before winter came along, but hardcore equestrians might schedule them around the competition calendar to ensure they don’t miss out on any of the ‘biggies’ which land on the same dates each season. Organisation is key.
With no time for anything domestic all year, the winter can provide the ideal opportunity for a home refurb.
For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday