Three things riders love and three things riders hate about fall
Summer is coming to a quick end and that means fall is getting underway. There are a few pumpkin spice addicts that are 100% ecstatic that fall is here but if you are like the rest of us, you’ll probably have some mixed feelings about the changing seasons. For equestrians around the globe, there are a set of pros and cons that fall brings.
1) You love the break from scorching hot temperatures. Hot summer days are perfect for going to the beach but are not so great for mucking out a barn, riding several horses, standing outside teaching lessons and stacking copious amounts of hay. You cannot deny that you love having to actually put a sweater on to head down to the barn in the morning, instead of lathering up with sunscreen and hoping you don’t die of heat stroke by noon.
You hate that the cooler weather means clipping and blanketing season has arrived. Yes, the cooler temperatures are a refreshing change but digging out your horse’s blankets and sharpening your clipper blades is not so fun. There is nothing more torturous than the feeling of horsehair in your bra and knowing you still have another three horses to clip. No one in his or her right mind likes clipping. And blanketing is a whole other pain in the behind. It takes time to blanket a barn full of horses. It is also expensive to repair/replace your own horse’s blankets if it does not treat its blankets gently. Oh, tis’ the season…
2) Who doesn’t love going for fall hacks? Hacking and fall go together better than peanut butter and jelly. There is nothing more relaxing than hacking your horse around on a sunny fall day and enjoying the radiant fall colours. There is something magical about fall hacking. You also have more time for relaxing hacks when show season is over. No pressure, no scorching hot temperatures, no learning dressage tests. Just you and your horse loving fall.
You hate going for rainy and cold fall day rides. Hacking on a nice, sunny fall day is amazing but trying to jump school your horse when it is almost cold enough to snow (but not quite, so it just rains down buckets of cold water) is the worst. Many of us are not fortunate enough to have indoor or covered arenas so we have to tough out what Mother Nature throws our way. You are a tough equestrian though, right? You won’t skip your ride over just a lousy fall day! Plus if you make it through your freezing monsoon ride, you’ll have the perfect excuse to stop at Starbucks on the way home for that Pumpkin Spice Latte you secretly want…
3) Show season is winding down and you love having some spare time on weekends. The competition season is coming to an end and that means you won’t be on the road at horse shows every second weekend or so. This also means if you miss a ride or two during the week for whatever reason, it is not a big deal. All equestrians love show season but if you never took a break from it you might just go mad or broke… or both!
YOU HATE THAT SHOW SEASON IS ALMOST OVER. With the end of the competition year, comes a slightly panicked realization that it is really over. You will go through withdrawals. You will find yourself waking up at 3:00 AM on Saturdays terrified that you have overslept and your horse trailer still isn’t packed, only to remember there isn’t a show today. But focus how you can put all this extra time you have to good use and reminisce on your best moments from the season. Don’t dwell on the mistakes you made at competitions this year but remember them, so you can work on your weaknesses over the off-season. It sucks that you won’t have any more chances to compete for a while but this also means that you have lots of time to train so are better than ever at the start of next season.