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Friday, 12 October 2018

#Blogtober Day 12: Autumn & Winter Routines

Does your routine change much as the seaosn do? As autumn moves into winter, many of us will begin to make changes to our horse's routine - some smaller and some bigger. Whether it is simply a change to their turnout, or a different working regime, we all make changes.

So what's my autumn & winter turnout routines?

Firstly, I wouldn't say I have a routine that differs wildly from winter, or even one that differs from the rest of the year. In the summer, Louie lives out 24/7, and around 1st October, depending on how good the weather stays, he will be stabled over night. As winter approaches, he comes in early afternoon as turnout is usually around 7am, plus it gives his legs chance to dry for I have an easy task of just brushing all that mud off to reveal fairly white socks...& I can use boots for working him.

Some may think that's a fairly big change, but it's not for Louie. He is very clear in his behaviour when he's had enough of living out, or wants to start coming in earlier. He's also all about routine, so making things the same for him day in, day out, makes everyone's life much easier.

Does our workload and exercise plan change over the winter?

Not really... I mean, of course, I'm not able to take a long hack after work, or enjoy the fields as our arena instead of the school, but overall how we approach Louie's work programme doesn't change.

Louie is worked five days each week with 2x school sessions, 1x lunge, 1x competition/training session and 1x hack. OK, so maybe the last one changes in the summer and the main reason is that weekends are the only time we're able to hack out, but with also being the only time we can compete or attend training sessions, it falls down to just once during winter.

That said, with the prividledge of my workplace now offering flexible hours, meaning I can work between 7am and 7pm), I really hope to perhaps find one day a week where we can enjoy an early morning hack out before starting work anywhere up to 11am!! Great way to start my day AND it means I don't get home any later at night!

Unless the arena is frozen or it really is a hurricane, we ride come rain or shine. Sometimes, if the wind is too strong that the lunge line bends and pulls, we'll swap an evening's planned lunging for a ridden session.
So to sum it up, I started saying not changes, BUT we do make small tweaks here and there just to make it that little bit more easy to get through the winter months!

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