For horse people, being grounded is one of the worst things in the world. No, I’m not talking grounded in the sense of getting in trouble and not being able to do certain things. Though, it kind of has the same effect on your riding time. I’m talking about grounded in the sense of you or your horse having some sort of physical restriction that doesn’t allow you to ride. This could be a serious injury or being too ill for either party. There are some things you can do though that makes this time not as bad.
Get Ahead on Non-horsey Things
You all of the sudden have at least an extra hour a day. Get caught up or ahead on things like emails, bills, school work, and house chores. I know it won’t be fun but you will have more time at the barn when you can ride again because you won’t have the boring normal people stuff to do.
This is especially important for students! We always see articles and hear about people balance barn and school life. Really focus on the later to make the first one not as rushed when you get the green light.
If you need some barn time, clean stuff out and up. This will also make your first rides back not as bad. You won’t have to worry about moving everything out of the way to get to that one thing you need when you’re already tired from riding because all that stuff is put away. I know can get unorganized rather quickly when riders are on a tight schedule but that doesn’t mean it has to start that way!
Read articles, watch videos, listen to your instructor give other people lessons. Just because you are not in the saddle doesn’t mean you still can’t learn. If nothing else, watching other people’s lessons gives you a time to catch up on all of the social activities you may have missed while you were away.
Don’t take this time off as a time to eat only junk food and sit on your bottom all day. You will be very very tired and sore once you start riding again. Even if you are stuck to the couch or bed all day or have limited things you can do, you can still “exercise”.
I recently had a kidney stone and felt miserable for several weeks afterward. I wasn’t riding and when I did any exercises I felt nauseous. So no, I wasn’t out there running and jumping and doing 10 million push-ups and planks. But I did watch what I ate and made sure I didn’t sit still for too long. After I finished an assignment or a task, I got up and walked for 5 minutes. Sometimes I even put in a couple wall push-ups (not as hard on the body but still works to arms) and on good days I did a little more. Do whatever you can just don’t stay still for too long.