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Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Saddle Substitutions

I think it's fair to say that the world is split when it comes to spending time in the saddle at the moment - some have chosen not to ride, some have chosen to continue to ride, and others sadly can't make it to their yards & barns to see their four-legged friends. However, even those that are continuing to ride, there's been a lot of adjustments made to their regular work plans - being more sensible, avoiding unnecessary risks and perhaps even reducing the number of times that they are riding per week.

But fear not...you can still get your weekly fix (& your daily exercise!) thanks to some of the fun & slightly quirky initiatives taking place across social media! Here's just a few I've found...

Hobby Horse Dressage Competitions

That's right, you can step right up, don all of your fanciest competition gear and take your latest pony to a party...whether it be in your living room or kitchen, field or arena, or your own back garden!

Videos are popping up right across social media of everyone taking part in this challenge that literally everyone can give a go, even those without a hobby horse are giving it a go! Thanks to Dressage Anywhere who are running this novelty class to raise money for the NHS Charities Urgent Appeal, with £8 from every £10 class going directly to the charity.

If this is the first you've heard of it, GET INVOLVED! You could start up a mini-competition with all your horsey pals from your yard to see who can gain the highest place on the scoreboard!

In Due Horse Confinement Challenges

I've been a fan of Louise over on In Due Horse for a few years now, usually enjoying her endless selfie photos of her and Mya, her less than selfie-enthusiastic horse! However, she's living life in France with some seriously restrictive changes going on in her life, including sadly not being able to go and see Mya at all. She also works with children so isn't able to do that either. But she's been putting her time to good fun-time use...

You'll be amazed at her creativity of what horsey related activity you can do from inside an apartment - showjumping, cross country, POLO! Here's their latest, giving puissance a try...

Louise & her partner, James, are giving it all a go, and show you how you can too! Make sure if you give one of their activities a try, you capture it on camera & share it on In Due Horse's social media channels.

Garden Cross Country

I can't find for the life of me the video of the first person that I saw doing this... This lady was dressed head to toe in her cross country attire, including a number bib WITH a number. Set up with a start box, complete with 'official' starter to count her down, off she galloped around her garden over anything and everything that she could find to make a rustic style fence - there was water hazards, bullrushes, uprights, ditches.

I really wish that I could find it, as it was very entertaining, not least because there was an excellent commentator which always makes for a more exciting cross country round! However, I have found this exceptionally creative cross country training video from Tom Fray Equestrian Coaching to give you something to aim towards...

If you get creative and inventive, there are heaps of things that you can do to substitute time that you'd unusually spend in the saddle. Have plenty of fun doing them, make sure you capture them on camera, but most of all stay safe!

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