Let’s be real here: winter just doesn’t count. And I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to make this the best summer yet and I definitely have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve. Here’s how YOU can Make this the BEST Summer as an Equestrian!
When I think of summer, I think of driving with the windows down and clear skin; but most importantly, a mud-free, care-free, but not bug-free, time at the barn. And after a long, long winter, I couldn’t be more excited for this coming season!
Some of my favorite memories are having a picnic while watching the horses graze, or giving my horse, Theo, a nice bath after a good work out. But I was thinking recently how I’m turning 20 this summer and am just all around ready for a change… so I decided to make a bucket list of potential adventures – both new and old – that I would like to experience!
I don’t want keep you any longer, so let’s get into it! Here’s how to make this the BEST summer as an equestrian!
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Bake Horse Treats!
This is just a classic for my lists. But happy horse, happy YOU! And I’ll say it time and time again, but there’s nothing more rewarding than putting love and effort into those treats, and then your horse practically melting over them. Trust me.
Anyways, try making some oatmeal cookies for them with oats, flour, honey, etc. or just check out this OG video by 13 year old me for some great camera work and an even greater recipe ; )
If you’re looking to switch it up then take some watermelon juice, put it in a flexible ice tray (like this one) and then stick them in the freezer. This is a great little treat for the ponies, especially on a hot and humid day!
Start Social Media
Social media isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally can’t imagine a summer without posting cute photos and making a little aesthetic feed.
Whether you’re into Instagram or Tiktok for posting fun videos, or you want something more visually appealing like Pinterest and Lemon8, it just adds to the memories that you can look back on after a summer well spent!
Check out: How to Grow Your Fanbase as an Equestrian!
Go for a trail ride
Trail riding once the weather is warm and the trees are green? Nothing compares.
Go out with your friends and spend the day just exploring, and maybe go for a gallop or two! If your barn doesn’t have many trails, try trailering out to a park to try something new! Just make sure they allow horses + bring your coggins and vaccinations as well.
Binge your favorite horsey show!
For me? Heartland. Hands down. But no matter the show, bingeing your favorite throughout the summer is arguably, what summers are made for. Balancing the adventures with some quiet time makes those exciting parts more enjoyable – but the alone time all the same.
Need some ideas? Here are some of my recommendations:
- Free Rein
- The Saddle Club
- Mister Ed
- The Adventures of the Black Stallion
Volunteer at a barn or therapy barn!
If you’re wanting to add some experience to those adventures, consider volunteering at a lesson or therapy barn! Volunteering has a number of benefits including adding a sense of purpose, building self-confidence, increasing social skills, and potential networking opportunities.
Reach out to some barns or programs that you might be interested in and see if they need any help. Maybe you could help supervise lesson kids or even just assist with barn chores. Plenty of time to get to know some peers or explore other programs in general!
Have a spa day
The one season you get to have a full fledged spa day? Summer. Take your one chance for the year and run with it!
Instead of the usual hose down after a long ride, consider spending a little extra time with your pony; whip out the ol’ shampoo and conditioner, detangler, hoof polish, and just have a field day!
Intern under a top rider or trainer!
This goes hand-in-hand with volunteering at a barn, but more specifically, see if you can shadow a rider or trainer you look up to! If you receive a yes, it makes for a great opportunity to get experience and even ride some cool horses.
I was offered a working position a few years ago from a horse trainer, and though it never quite worked out, I was excited for the possibility!
Riding dares and mounted games with friends
Want to make some core memories? Plan for some riding dares and/or mounted games with your friends! And hey, who doesn’t love some side saddle and doubles?
Here are some dare ideas:
- Ride tackless
- Stand on your horse
- Jump bareback
- Ride doubles
- Jump without hands
- Barrel race or time a course against each other
- Ride side saddle
- Who can teach their horse a trick the fastest
- Dismount while in motion
- Ride backwards
- Mount bareback without a block
And check out this article on mounted games!
Have a picnic and paint
I love, love, love taking a picnic out to my horse’s pasture and just spending time observing the horses while they graze. But if you’re like me and also love to romanticize the little moments, take some paint out there and whip out those ol’ artistic skills.
Paint the strawberries you brought along or the horses + the scenery; whatever it may be, you’ll have peace of mind and a blast! Just don’t forget to post so I can see.
Tack shopping spree
Look, sometimes it’s just in your best interest to spoil yourself a little bit – that is scientific, however, I will not be including my sources at this time ; )
Take a day and go for a nice tack shopping spree. Try on every pair of breeches or tall boots you can find and just have a jolly good time! And trust me, it won’t be the end of the world if you walk out with a bag or two.
Watch a polo match
I honestly can’t think of a better way to romanticize your summer, than going to watch a polo match. Dress up in your best clothes, curl your hair, and live your best life. Not to mention a polo match? Come on, that’s so fun to experience.
Take a lesson for a different discipline
The cool thing – to me – about equestrianism is the fact that we have so many disciplines and areas of expertise within this one sport. And I would say that as equestrians, we should become well-rounded riders, which involves learning new skills.
Taking a lesson or two for a different discipline is a good way to become more knowledgeable about horsemanship and plus… it’s just fun to try something else for a change!
So whether you want to try reigning, vaulting, or polo… give something a shot!
Gallop through a field
One of my personal favorite things to do while the sun is out, is take a nice gallop through a field. There isn’t a single thing in this entire world that could bring me more joy – true story, true story.
But let’s be honest here: it’s not a great time if you’re on a horse who you don’t fully trust. So, grab a nice and steady horse (if this is your first gallop) and give it a go! I’m a big fan of throwing a western saddle on – it brings out the yee-haw aspect, if you know what I mean – and just let my horse be free.
Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Have a photoshoot
As an influencer, I might be a little biased on this topic – but who doesn’t love a good photoshoot??
Grab your horse, make them look all spiffy, and head out to that scenery (don’t forget a camera and camera person). I like to either dress up or take a prop, like flowers, out with me, and some sort of ear-perk device… you know, like a plastic bag.
Try to switch up angles and backgrounds to get peak aesthetic out of your shoot, and voila! You have eye candy in digital form.
Clean your tack
Don’t lie to me and don’t lie to yourself. When was the last time you cleaned your tack? I know it’s been a hot minute.
Grab some saddle soap, conditioner and well, your saddle, and get to work! But you know what, have fun with it. Get your favorite music or podcast up and running, and imagine how great it’s going to be when it’s all done.
And hey, you won’t have to touch that saddle soap for at least another year once you’re finished (but don’t quote me on that).
Journal all of your rides
Something that’s near and dear to my heart is journaling. Though I haven’t consistently journaled my rides, I still love to go back and look at my old entries. Seeing how much you’ve grown mentally and as a rider is always rewarding.
So grab a cute little notebook and a pen, and be sure to take it on your next trip to the barn. This can also help you to work out any frustrations or even prevent future burn out or slumps. Once again, so rewarding with so many benefits!
Check out: How to Get Out of a Slump as an Equestrian
Have special outings!
It’s so easy to get stuck in one strict routine as an equestrian; so much so that we forget to change it up every now and then. Like the trail ride, try trailering out to a new place: whether a trail, a fun arena, or the beach.
Changing it up gives you and your horse a break, and just gives you a chance to enjoy each other’s company!
Work on your mindset!
After a long winter, it’s not unreasonable for equestrians to fall into a negative mindset. Pulled shoes from the knee-deep mud, abscesses, and rain rot could put anyone through the motions after all.
Start working towards consistently repeating affirmations to yourself as well as learning to appreciate the small and quiet moments that come with equestrianism. As said before, painting and having a picnic, spa days, and photoshoots… these little moments are what make this sport so special and unique.
If you ever need someone to talk through any worries, frustrations, or anxieties – I’ve got your back, just shoot me a DM ; )
That was a mouthful!
…but let me sum it up for you!
- Bake horse treats
- Start social media
- Go for a trail ride
- Binge your favorite horsey show
- Volunteer at a barn or therapy barn
- Have a spa day
- Intern under a top rider or trainer
- Riding dares and mounted games with friends
- Have a picnic and paint
- Tack shopping spree
- Watch a polo match
- Take a lesson for a different discipline
- Gallop through a field
- Have a photoshoot
- Clean your tack
- Journal all of your rides
- Have special outings
- Work on your mindest
Summer Equestrian Bucket List Printable:
Hey, if I were you, I would want to keep a bucket list close by so I could easily do a little check! (vocally and literally) every time I completed an activity. So sign up for my newsletter to get a free Summer Equestrian Bucket List Printable!
Is this going to be the best summer or what?!
Between trying new things, going on adventures, and taking in the quiet, this is hands down going to be our best summer yet. Are you with me or are you with me?
Tell me, what are your plans this summer? Do you have any special traditions? Let me know in the comments!
All the best,
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