25 Things To Do When You Have To Stay Home
I have been reading and hearing a lot about others that have to stay home because of the entire social distancing thing that is happening. I don’t want to say I wish I were able to work from home, because that is just not possible for me and the work that I do as a nurse. My job requires me to see see people in person. But if I was told that I had to stay home for 14 days, I could get sooooo much stuff done!
So I thought I would come up with a list of things that you can do while you are told to stay home. Or if you are having difficulty of thinking of things to do when you feel like you have nothing to do. If you are lucky enough to have your horses live with you, this list will increase tremendously! But if you horse is at a boarding facility, and you can’t get out to him (or her) there are still a lot of things you can do!
Clean Your Tack
And I mean CLEAN YOUR TACK! Spend some extra time polishing and scrubbing that leather! Challenge yourself to see if you can make it look like new. Or in many cases, better than new!
It takes time to do a really thorough cleaning of tack. And if you’re stuck at home, why not make good use of that time? Don’t forget to wash your saddle pads too!
Organize Your Tack Room
I think its safe to say, I love to organize my tack room. And well, everything for that matter! So if you are searching for something to do, why not organize your tack room?
Deep Clean The Barn
Again, if your horse is at a barn, I know you probably can’t do this. But you could find something else to deep clean. But if you are at home with your horses, really clean out your barn. Spring is here, and summer will be coming soon.
So why not use this extra time to really get your barn in top shape? You can strip the stalls, wash the walls, get all of the cobwebs down. Clean all of the water and feed buckets. And dust everything. Walk through pastures and make sure they are safe.
DIY Horse Products
Right now, Amazon is still shipping, so why not make a few DIY products you can use on your horse?
You could try my waterless shampoo recipe (awesomeness), or my tail serum recipe (way awesomeness), or my horse shine spray recipe (pure awesomeness)! It doesn’t take very long to make these products, and they work really well.
Start A Workout Routine
Whether you have your horse at home or not, anyone can start a workout routine. And it doesn’t take a lot of time either. I use an app on my phone called Workouts for Women. They have different workouts that you can choose and they are fun!
If you spent 15 minutes a day working out for 2 weeks you will be establishing a habit that not only will you enjoy, but it will help get you in shape too! I know I need all the help I can get with this, which is why I was doing this workout with my coworkers every day at lunch. This is a really great app that can encourage you to be more active.
Enter An Online Horse Show
If you have photos of your horse, and I know you do, why not enter an online horse show? They are a lot of fun, and you don’t have to leave your house to do it.
I think my most favorite online horse show is Global Showing. Their ribbons (rosettes) are beautiful, and they even have video classes you can enter.
Take Your Horse For A Walk
If you live out in the country, or semi-rural areas of the world, why not take your horse for a walk? I am doing this with Plezant to get him used to our area, as well as reinforce some training with him. And if you don’t have your horse at home, you could walk your dog, or even just go for a walk yourself.
Get Your Horse Shedded Out
This time of year the horses are shedding out. Why not spend some extra time helping the process? If you’re at home, and you can’t leave for two weeks, you have the time right? So make the most of that time, and get grooming!
Establish (Or Groom) Your Riding Arena
I don’t know about you, but I get so excited to groom my riding arena. It may not be the best ground, but I can make it better by repetitively grooming and working the ground. And there is just something so special about being able to walk out onto a freshly groomed arena.
Take an Online Class (Or Two)
If you have the internet, and since you’re reading this, I know you do, why not sign up for an online training to improve your riding? I actually have two memberships. Noelle Floyd Masterclass is one of them, and I love it! I have video lessons to watch as well as a workbook that I can print out and go through.
And I also am a member of Clinton Anderson’s No Worries Club. He has 2 different tiers of his membership.
And if you opt for the more expensive, you get access to all of his series of training like colt starting, trailer training, and all of his fundamentals series. These are fantastic if you are working through a situation with your horse.
Right now is a great opportunity to try an online program to help you further your knowledge to be an even better horseman.
Build Some Jumps
If I were quarantined at home, this is one thing I would be doing. I would be working on some jump building! And while I’m on the jump building plan, it works perfectly for my next idea…
Print Out Jump Courses
Because of Plezant’s extensive show career, he is no stranger to jumps. In fact, when I put him out in the arena, he goes up to check out my jumps! And I want to really work him over a course or two. SO I have been scouring the internet, and my photos, for different jump courses to use with him.
By setting up my own courses, it really helps me to understand the course better. And if you do a Google search for jump courses, you will find a LOT of them!
Another thing you can do is if you find a course you like, you can make a PNG file of the course, save it, and then have it printed like a photo. Then you collect all of your course photos and put them together in a photo book, or even just keeping them in an envelope. This way you will have a lot of different courses to make, if you get bored and just like to set up jump courses.
Tackle Learned Behaviors
I really mean bad habits, but that’s not politically correct. But sometimes our horses develop bad habits that we don’t typically have time to correct properly. Right now you might have the time to work on this. For example, Plezant has a bad habit of pinning his ears, and getting anxious at feeding time. One time he even acted as if he was going to bite my arm when I turned my back on him to lock the gate.
And this is unacceptable, no matter how adorable your horse is. So when he acts this way, he doesn’t get his food. If this means I have to come back out 15 minutes later, several times, then this is what I do. And when he meets me with his ears up and respectful of my space, he gets his food and I tell him what a good boy he is.
I don’t scold him when he does this, because I would be giving him attention for the bad behavior. And it seems like horses are a lot like children, and any attention is good attention. So if I were to pay attention to this bad behavior ti would probably reinforce it as the right thing for him to do. And honestly, it take a lot of extra time to get him to the point where he is respectful at feeding time, and I don’t have a lot of time to do this over and over again Monday through Friday because I still have to go to work.
But if I had the time, like two weeks to be at home and establish a good habit, it would be a lot easier. So if your horse has a bad habit, and you are home with him for two weeks, use your time wisely, and work through that learned behavior.
Update Your Equestrian Wardrobe
Now I don’t mean go out and buy the latest breeches, or matchy-matchy shirts. No, rather, I mean go through all of your breeches, shirts, coats, boots etc. Seriously, pull everything out and see what fits, and what is worn out. If you don’t wear them, you don’t need them. I would be willing to bet you have breeches or even shirts that you forgot you had!
You could even try on different outfits, you know to make sure everything still fits! You could have a little equestrian fashion show! And then hang or fold everything up in one part of your closet. This way you have a well organized horse wardrobe, and you’ll know what you have.
Plant A Garden
This may not sound horse related but hear me out. How many times do you go buy a bag of carrots for your horse? Wouldn’t it be cool if you had your own carrots that you grew to give to your horse? I think so! And even if you live in an area that is still freezing, you can still plant carrots! So make your own horse vegetable garden, and plant a row or two of carrots for your horse. Then, when all of this quarantining has past, and things get back to normal, you will have a treat for your horse all summer long.
Spa Day for your Horse
If the weather is agreeable, and your horse is at home I can not think of a more incredible thing to do than spending the day pampering my horses. And of course there is the bathing and grooming, yes. But why not spend some time learning how to give your horse a massage, or giving his hooves a pedicure? You could also deep a deep moisturizing treatment on his tail. Make it a complete spay day for your horse!
Clean Your House
From top to bottom. Clean EVERYTHING. Clean out a closet, or under your bed. If this seems like too large of a task to tackle in a day, do it over several days. I mean your home right? And make your home a virus free zone by disinfecting all surfaces like doorknobs, refrigerator handles, light switches, and well, you get the idea.
I love coming back inside to a clean house. When it’s really clean, it smells great! And if the weather is warm enough, maybe open your windows for a bit, and let some fresh air inside. It’s a good feeling to have a clean house right?
If there is something that you have been wanting to make for a while, why not make it? For me, I have my Cricut machine so I could make stall signs, barn signs, or something else. If you have paints, you could customize your horse brushes or a grooming tote. And if you have wood, and the tools, you could make a bridle rack, or a saddle stand.
If you have some material, or yarn, you could make an ear bonnet or two. You don’t even need a sewing machine, I mean you have the time, why not make an ear bonnet? But if you do have a sewing machine, have you ever thought of making your own saddle pad? How cool would that be?
Bake Horse Treats
I know my horses will appreciate this, making them some treats! And working on tweaking the recipe so that the treats are soft enough for Plezant to consume. Homemade horse treats are easy to make, and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry, especially if it is well stocked.
So take an hour out of your day, and bake some treats for your horses!
Have a Photo Session with Your Horse
If you have a phone, you have a camera. Or if you have a ‘real’ camera why not spend a day capturing photos of your horse? Maybe take a picture of your favorite part. I love their muzzles, soft adorable muzzles! Or his eyes, or his quirky blaze.
And you aren’t limited to just your horse, but how about him out in his pasture enjoying his time? Or in his stall, or all tacked up. There are just so many possibilities! And if you do this, then you would have a bunch of photos for an online horse show too!
Hang Out With Your Horse
Instead of being cooped up in your clean house, take some time to just go be with your horse. I know, I know, if your horse isn’t at home with you, this will be difficult to do. But if your horse is at home, just go spend some time with him. You don’t even have to be doing anything else other than being with your horse. Just go hang out with him. Maybe see if he will come up to you in the field on his own. And if he doesn’t, maybe play a game with him, like you are looking for something. I think you will be surprised that if you just go hang out with him, he will probably come up to you in time.
Just have the intention of you rare just out there, with him. You aren’t going to catch him, or work with him. You just want to be with him. It’s awesome!
Read Some Horse Training Books
If you are anything like me, you have a collection of horse training books. How many of them have you read? Or if it’s been awhile, take out your favorite and re-read it.
Work on Groundwork
I am a firm believer in groundwork with my horses. Frisby is a pro. Plezant, not so much. But if I had two weeks to work with him on it, every day….well, he would figure it out now wouldn’t he?
This would be a good time to work on desensitizing your horse to scary objects. Because over time, the more your horse is exposed to ‘scary objects’ eventually, they will be boring, and not so scary anymore.
Watch Some Horse Movies
I love horse movies. If it has a horse in it, I have probably seen it. One of my most favorite movies is Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. I could watch that over and over again. And I usually do! One movie that is available online for USEF members, it’s called Desert Flight and even if you aren’t a jumper, it’s definitely worth watching.
Ride Your Horse
I know, shocker right? But I’ll put it out there, ride your horse! Maybe take him on a trail ride, or do a bareback ride. Just get out there, and ride your horse!
The big takeaway here I want to give you here is don’t focus on the things you can’t do right now, and find things you can do. If you have your horse at home, and your at home, you have so much that you can be doing. And if you stay positive, and concentrate on what you can do, your forced time at home will truly be a blessing, and not a quarantine.