Everyone with any sense knows there’s only one good thing about winter, and that’s layers. Why? Because layers allow you to eat, constantly and unashamedly, and then blame your sudden, worrying expansion on the amount of clothing you’re wearing. No one’s any the wiser, and life is glorious.
Until the new season looms and your wobbly bits jeer at you from the mirror. “Get those white breeches on, I dare you,” they seem to say.
“I would actually rather give up riding,” you think.
So this year, I’m trying something different. I’m putting all (er, some) of my mince-pie eating energy into finding as many new exercises, grids and schooling tips as I can to incorporate into my winter riding, so that rather than plodding along in the cold, my horse and I can actually attempt to improve during hibernation season.
During the season, one of my favourite resources for free training inspiration is the collecting ring at events, but at this time of year, I start digging through that endless treasure trove of visual media: YouTube. There’s an absolute wealth of schooling advice on there, and I love finding a new jumping exercise and giving it a jolly good bash. My favourites? Anything that helps me to improve my cross country riding when I can’t get out on course properly. Here are a couple of the most useful ones I’ve found — give them a go this weekend and make the most of the off-season!
(Bonus points if you can spot a certain EN editor’s horse in one of these videos!)