As temperatures drop and skies grow cloudy, cold weather can discourage boarders from visiting their equine partners. But despite the temperature change, winter unearths some fun opportunities for equestrians. Try these ideas to keep winter barn activities fun and interesting.
Plan a Winter Photo Shoot
To prepare a winter-themed photo shoot, gather various accessories to use as props or even plan to host it on a snowy day and use the snow-covered farm as a backdrop. An open pasture and snow-covered trees make for a beautiful winter background. Offer warm drinks such as apple cider, hot chocolate, or tea. You can even ask boarders to vote on their favorite photo and offer a prize to the winner.
Host a Barn Party
Hosting a barn party doesn’t have to be complicated. You can have it in a heated area of your barn and ask boarders to bring a food dish to share (for horses or humans). You can set up indoor games for boarders to play or even have a game in the arena for boarders to do with their horses in-hand, such as relay races.
Invite Boarders on a Group Trail Ride
Cold weather doesn’t mean riding has to stop! Check the weather forecast and plan a day for your boarders to meet and go on a group trail ride. Remind everyone to dress for the weather and bring the necessary blankets or coolers to help their horses cool down properly.
TIP: Send three potential dates to your boarders and allow time for their responses. This will help you pick a day when most people can attend.
Host a Winter Horse Show
Horse shows don’t have to stop during the winter, and some are even winter-themed. Set up a schooling show at your farm and invite your boarders to participate for a lower fee than away shows. Offer treats for the horses and hot drinks for their humans. Allow the judge to speak to competitors or share their notes with them to increase the learning opportunity.
TIP: Take a group photo at the end of the show with the boarders, their horses, and their prizes to share with the group and on social media.
Make Some Memories
Don’t let the shorter days and crisp weather of winter make your barn a ghost town. Instead, use the winter season as an opportunity to strengthen the community of your barn. You and your boarders might make some fabulous memories along the way.