NYB: Riding During the Holidays

By: Emily Harris

The holidays are a very special time of the year, one that many people look forward to. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we have had to work around all kinds of difficulties. But if you still want to do something this holiday season to make it special, here are some tips to manage your time!

Brainstorm and Get Creative

Now this is the first step to enjoying your holidays and this is what makes them fun!! Personalize the season to fit you. You may even create new family traditions! Try new holiday colors, stuff stockings for your horses, dress up yourself and your horse in creative costumes, go Christmas caroling on horseback, be in a parade, trail ride around your neighborhood, go on a christmas themed hayride, make holiday horse treats, make a gingerbread barn, or come up with your own creative and unique way of celebrating the holidays. 

Plan, plan, plan!

Now that you have decided what to do, you will have to plan your time. You may have to do more traveling so that you can spend time with relatives. Which means you must capitalize every minute spent with your horse. Plan your weeks and days so that you can accomplish your tasks/rides. If it is at all possible, try getting the whole family to pitch in! Knowing what it is your family would like to do will help tremendously, because you can always create a backup plan if things go a little off course. 

Take Advantage of your Opportunities 

Taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves is key! Once you have your plans made then just start doing them. It’s that simple! It is way better to get things done sooner rather than later. If you want to decorate your barn and haven’t had the chance yet, go ahead and do it. If your horse is clean, take that opportunity to get a photo. You never know, that photo might not be photoshoot perfection, but you may want to use it for a profile picture. If it has snowed in your area, take advantage of that and get a few pictures!

Spend Time with your Horse

It can be easy to get caught up with fulfilling all of the things you want to do this season. But never forget to just take time to spend with your horse! Take a day or two to just go be with them and pamper them. Give them an extra good grooming session or take them for a walk (without riding). Horses like to do things with you that differ from their norm. And we can not forget that they can tell when you are stressed, happy, excited, and even when you are feeling grinchy. So why not let them know that your relationship will stay the same no matter what!

And we can not forget this very important aspect, HAVE FUN!! The biggest thing to remember when riding during the holidays is to take advantage of the time you have. If you put things off you may never get things done, you may never try something different. It can be easy to get lost shopping for gifts, cooking food, baking delicious desserts, and all of the things we typically do. But this should be a time filled with laughter and good times. So, continue to have fun and make some memories!!

The National Youth Board (NYB) serves as a liaison between Pony Club’s youth members and the Board of Governors by communicating the needs, ideas, and concerns of USPC youth. NYB members also work with the national office on projects related to marketing, leadership development, and service for the benefit of the organization and all Pony Club members. Delegates of the NYB are between 18 – 23 years of age, highly motivated and dedicated, and have strong leadership and communication skills. To learn more, log in and visit the National Youth Board page.

https://www.ponyclub.org/Members/Leadership/NatYouthBoard/

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