Photo courtesy of Sara Florin, Sr. Director of Branding and Marketing at Kerrits.
Pamper your horse and yourself… you’ve both earned it!
Gifts are my love language — always have been, always will be.
I love giving friends and family thoughtfully curated presents (#justsaynotogiftcards), and I shower my AQHA gelding with love, attention, and (of course) horse treats.
For some reason, doing nice things for myself is a lot harder to justify in adulthood — especially as an equestrian on a budget.
It’s high time we riders start showing ourselves a little extra kindness. Here are five reasons why you should make time to treat yo self (and your horse) year-round.
#1: We Always Come Second
As horse lovers, we put the wellbeing and happiness of our equine partners first. They eat before we eat. They get a bath before we do. (If we get one at all.) They get more supplements, horse treats, massages, and praise, too.
That’s how it should be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something nice for yourself once your horse is squared away. Being selfless doesn’t mean being invisible.
Treat Yo Self:
- Invest in a high-quality piece of riding apparel you’ll actually use (even if you don’t “need” it).
- Find a couple hours, head to your favorite coffee shop, and plan out 3-5 fun events you want to do with your horse over the next year.
- Plan a fancy dinner out with your barn friends, and give yourselves an excuse to get dressed up (and ditch those dusty breeches!).
#2: Horsing is Hard Work
Your non-equestrian friends may think all that “horsing” stuff looks easy, but we know the truth. By the time you’ve mucked, groomed, ridden, groomed again, and driven home from the barn in the dark, you’re exhausted.
If you want to keep your energy up, you need to practice some good ‘ol fashioned self-care.
Treat Yo Self:
- Book a spa day with a deep-tissue massage at your favorite spa.
- Make time for healthy eating, and pack high-energy snacks to keep at the barn.
- Find a class at a local yoga studio that works with your schedule, or set aside time to start a practice at home with online video courses.
#3: Two Words… Mud Season
Anyone who survives the daily slog out to the pasture (where your horse is inevitably waiting by the farthest fence), endures bicep-burning curry comb sessions, and doesn’t cry when your freshly groomed horse rolls the second he’s turned back out deserves an award.
Riding isn’t all white breeches, cute selfies, and blue ribbons. It can be downright disgusting!
Treat Yo Self:
- Draw a hot bath, catch up on your favorite equestrian podcasts, and soak to your heart’s content.
- Register for a riding clinic or competition that’s scheduled after mud season so you have something to look forward to.
- Invest in a pair of high-quality muck boots that won’t get sucked off your feet in the paddock and leave you stranded in your socks.
#4: You Spend a Fortune on “UnFun” Stuff
Spending an arm and a leg on shoeing every six weeks, shelling out for ongoing supplements and stable supplies, and writing your monthly board check can be pretty demotivational.
Horses are expensive, and there’s no way around it. But it’s also important to see your hard-earned dollars transform into something truly FUN every now and then.
Treat Yo Self:
- Sign up for SaddleBox, and get (even more than) your money’s worth in fun (and useful) goodies you and your horse will love each month. (Click to read my review!)
- Book a professional photography session for you and your horse. Having these beautiful memories on your wall (and Instagram feed) will bring a smile to your face every day.
- Design your own custom C4 riding belt. (Plus, they’re dishwasher safe. #takethatmud)
#5: Your Horse is Your Happy Place
Keeping horses healthy and happy can feel like a full-time job, and it often is. Yet, the amount of joy, adventure, friendship, and fun these animals bring to our lives is priceless.
Taking care of yourself and carving out time to enjoy the benefits of equestrian life help keep you inspired and engaged for the long run.
Treat Yo Self:
- Sign up for an online course or subscribe to a horsey magazine so you always keep learning.
- Volunteer with a horse rescue group, therapeutic riding program, or local equestrian event.
- Book a horse riding vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit.
Photo Credit: Patricia Kelly
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you, not your horse, deserve at the barn?
When it comes to spending time at the barn, you should find the experience comfortable, renewing, and fun. If your barn doesn’t make you feel that way, it’s time to think about making a move.
Once you have a barn home you love, though, make sure you have the safety equipment, appropriate tack and apparel, and quality instruction that you need to succeed.
Can you step up your look with new boots?
Heck yeah! Boots are a huge part of equestrian fashion. Switching up your footwear is a great place to start if your wardrobe needs a… reboot. (Sorry, we couldn’t help it.) Check out some of our all-time favorite horse riding boots.
What does it take to make an equestrian happy?
For most of us, that’s a simple answer — simply spending quality time with our horses makes us happy!
Treat Yourself to the Good Life
Sure, your horse is special in special ways. Regardless, you deserve to at least be 0n your own wish list, at least occasionally. Prioritize yourself as well as your mount.
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
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- 9 Rookie Approved Horseback Riding Boots for Beginners
- Rodeo Ready or Rodeo Rookie? Depends What You’re Wearing