Are you fighting the post horse show blues? If so, read our tips here. Photo © Ali Hubbell

Six Ways to Fight the Post Horse Show Blues

The music is different.  The decorations are different.  The food is…a lot.  What’s going on?  No doubt about it, the holiday season is here.  And it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Right?

Unfortunately, for a horse person, this time of year may not quite seem like all it’s cracked up to be.  See, we, as horse people, may tend to get a little cranky this time of year.  Why?  Because along with the greatness of the holiday season also comes the misery of the post horse show blues.

Some people might only have a month off and others may take multiple months off. No matter the length of time, these horse-show-less weekends are a dedicated horseman’s nightmare.

Every exhibitor has felt this before – it is not easy, going from horse showing every weekend to not showing at all during the winter season. So, how do we combat these post horse show blues?

Here are a few tips and tricks.

1) Start a new hobby

It never hurts to try something new in the offseason. Whether the endeavor is horse related or not, learning a new skill is invaluable. Have you ever wanted to learn to cook? Take a cooking class. Have you tried to crystal a new horsemanship shirt for next season? Give it a go. Try another sport or take up a new skill…whatever, just have fun. This is the time of year to explore your interests further.

2) Create new projects

DIY projects are wonderful for the offseason. Everything from show clothing to flower boxes can be found as a DIY. Do not be afraid to get crafty. Take a few minutes to search the internet (google is your friend) and find some ideas. There are endless crafting possibilities. You could even use these projects as gifts and save on your holiday shopping.

3) Focus on the holiday season

This time of year is marked by Christmas music, the smell of home baked cookies and quality time spent with friends and family. There are many ways to become engulfed in the Christmas spirit. Go ice skating, decorate cookies, drive around and see the lights…the possibilities are endless. Spend quality time with your family and friends. This is the most festive time of year and there are lots of fun activates available to you. If those horse show blues start to hit, just turn to some good, old fashion holiday cheer.

4) Volunteer

Spend your free time helping the community. There are a lot of wonderful volunteer opportunities, especially around the holiday season. Contact a local animal shelter, help out at a food kitchen, make the world a better place. If you want to be involved with horses, reach out to a horse rescue or maybe even a therapeutic riding program. Use your equine knowledge to help others.

5) Practice, practice, practice

When in doubt…practice, practice, practice. Every exhibitor has something specific that they want to improve on and there is always room for improvement. This is the perfect time of year to implement changes and grow as an equestrian. Put those extra hours in the saddle, and positive results are sure to follow in 2019.

6) Set goals for 2019

Speaking of 2019…next year’s show season will be here before we all know it. Take a hard look at what you want to achieve in the upcoming year. Talk with your trainer about these aspirations and the steps that it will take to get there. Make sure to set both small and large goals. To achieve a significant goal, you must complete the baby steps. Anything is achievable if you have a plan and a dream.

About the Author: Cat Guenther is a devout equestrian and a senior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has been riding horses for almost nine years and has loved every minute of it. Cat started and runs her successful show clothing business, Behind the Bit Show Clothing. She expanded her business last year and started to dye show tack. Her favorite classes are equitation, showmanship, and trail. She hopes to attend Michigan State University in the future to study veterinary medicine and possibly also study business. Cat is excited to show the all-around classes with her new horse, Zippos Kat Man Do aka Teddy.