As the leaves start to change and the temperature drops, days with your horse get shorter. Whether you're busy with school or work, spending quality time with your horse can be tough. You might miss the days of warm summer rides, but fall presents plenty of seasonal opportunities. Busy weekends at horse shows are starting to thin out, and best yet, there are fewer flies. When you think creatively, fall is the perfect time to reconnect and have fun with your horse.
Here are a few fun ideas you can easily do with your horse this fall.
Go for a Fall Foliage Trail Ride
Is there anything prettier than a forest in fall? All of those brilliant colors can completely change the look and feel of your regular trail riding spot. It's like riding in a beautiful new area. Not to mention, it's not as hot and you won't spend the ride swatting away bugs.
If you're up for an adventure, why not try a new spot that's specifically known for its beautiful fall foliage? Pack up the trailer and head to a state park or other natural area that allows horseback riding. You might need to hit the road for a few hours depending on where you live, but it's definitely a worthwhile experience.
Head to the Beach
Contrary to what you might think, fall is prime beach time for horse lovers. In the summer, most beaches, even the horse-friendly ones, are taken over by sunbathing tourists. There are usually restrictions that say horses can only be on the sand either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Dodging mesmerized beach-goers isn't fun, and you can't get the full experience of horseback riding on the beach.
In the fall, however, things are different. It's the off-season, and a lot of beaches are empty of people. Since there aren't as many people, the rules are typically more relaxed. Horses are usually allowed all day, and it's a lot more fun when you have most of the sand and waves to yourself.
Have a Fall-Themed Photoshoot
Pumpkins, corn stalks, fall foliage—all of these things make great props for a fall photoshoot. Groom your horse as if you're going to a show and don't be afraid to dress up yourself. You can hire a professional photographer, or just make it a fun day with your friends from the barn.
You can all take turns being the photographer and make it a fun experience for everyone.
Participate in a Costume Class
While the show season is coming to an end, there are usually a few Halloween-themed shows in September and October. If you have the opportunity to ride in a costume class, definitely take it. These are fun, no-pressure competitions that are always a big hit.
Put your creativity to the test by coming up with a killer costume idea for both you and your horse. You could be a dragon rider with their dragon, a zookeeper with their zebra, or even an alien on a space ship. The possibilities are endless, and you're guaranteed to have a lot of fun whether you win or lose.
Take Time to Improve Your Bond
Life is busy, especially in summer. We go from one show to the next and are constantly working on improving our skills and taking lessons. It's how we like it, but it's also important to take a break. If you're feeling rundown by the time the weather starts to change, you can bet your horse is feeling the same.
Horse Courses by Elaine Heney
- Listening to the Horse - The Documentary by Elaine Heney & Grey Pony Films
- Shoulder In & Out Training for better balance, bend & topline development with your horse
- Over 110+ Polework Exercises & Challenges to Download
- Dancing at Liberty & Creating Connection with Your Horse (11 lessons) - Grey Pony Films
Fall could be your perfect opportunity to put down the lunge line and relax. Spend time with your horse not training exactly, but simply working on your bond. Spend hours at the barn just hanging out together and getting reacquainted. Braid their tail and tell them about your day. After a whirlwind summer it will be nice to slow down and catch up.