The Autumn Equestrian Guide

The Autumn Equestrian Guide

What’s your favourite season? For many of us, there’s something simply magical about Autumn. While it may signal the end of BBQ’S, festivals and bronzed skin, it’s also the beginning of roaring bonfires, pumpkin spice lattés, cosy clothing and crisp weather. So, there’s undeniably lots to love about it! Sadly though, not everyone is in agreement.

From Wednesday 22nd September to Tuesday 21st December it's officially autumn. And, for those of us with horses, spring time simply can’t come back quickly enough. As the nights become longer than the days, and the sun seems to forget about us completely, it can have a massive impact on how we feel. In times like these, we could all use a helping hand. So, here we're going to be sharing our top 5 tips for surviving the Autumn as a horse owner.

1. Mental Health

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Almost all of us will have heard someone mention this condition in jest at one time or another, really though, it’s no laughing matter. Affecting 1 in every 15 people between September and April, it’s more common than you might think. SAD isn’t yet fully understood, but it’s believed to be linked to the affects of sunlight on the part of our brain called the hypothalamus. As we adjust to fewer daylight hours, it can cause raised melatonin levels, lowered serotonin levels and a change to our circadian rhythm. Symptoms of SAD include a persistent low mood, loss of interest in things you usually enjoy, irritability, feelings of despair, lethargy, fatigue or a craving for carbohydrates. Some of the things you can do to help manage symptoms include:

  • Getting as much natural sunlight as possible.
  • Making your work and home spaces light and airy.
  • Sitting near windows when you’re indoors.
  • Plenty of exercise, outdoors during daylight.
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Avoiding stress.

If you believe that you have SAD and are finding it difficult to cope, it’s important to speak to a medical professional about treatment.

For more information about how our horses can help out mental health, take a look at our blog – Mental Health Awareness – Hooves. Health. Happiness!

Riders Minds

Are you one of the 19 million horse riders in the UK? Don’t suffer in silence. If you’re struggling, speak up. It’s ok not to be ok. Founded in 2019 by Matt Wright, Riders Minds is a bespoke, comprehensive, FREE, online resource, dedicated to supporting and improving the mental health of all us equestrians. To talk confidentially, call the 24/7 help line on 0300 102 1540 or visit their website for support.

The Autumn Equestrian Guide

2. Autumn Wardrobe

For our non-equestrian counterparts, this means chunky knits, bobble hats and woolly scarves, but for us, that’s hardly practical! In truth, we can’t go picking and choosing when we venture outdoors. So, while crisp weather may seem like a blessing, we’ve also got to contend with heavy rain, knee deep mud and gale-force winds. With this in mind, preparation is the key to enjoyment. Layering up may sound easy, after-all we do it everyday. However, there really is a science to getting it right! Here’s what you need to know:

Base Layer

Base Layer

These are designed to act as a second skin. Ideally, cold weather base layers should be breathable and wicking. Sounds counterproductive, right? Breathability isn’t just for summer. This actually prevents sweat and condensation collecting inside our clothes and making us feel damp. Don’t forget, this will likely be the first of many layers. So, it should be close fitting, non-restrictive and light-weight.

Base Layers
Mid Layer

Mid Layer

Your mid layer is there to lock in warmth and keep you comfortable, without adding unnecessary bulk. Examples of good mid layers include fleeces, hoodies, lightweight down jackets and gilets.

Mid Layers
Outer Layer

Outer Layer

Last but not least, you’ll need a good quality outer layer. This should be considered as your weather protection. Ideally, outer layers should be waterproof and windproof with taped seams, protecting you from whatever autumn could throw your way!

Jackets & Coats
Team Work

3. Team Work

From feeding up and mucking out to rugging and filling water buckets, caring for horses during the colder months is no easy task. Thankfully though, two pairs of hands are always better than one. Whether you split the chores between yourselves or alternate visits, buddying up can really ease the burden. At first, it can help to write your new routine down to ensure that nothing gets missed.

Make Time For You

4. Make Time For You

That’s right, we said it! Sometimes we’ve got to pop our feet up and put ourselves first. From work and horses to friends and family, clearing our calendars to look after ourselves can feel like a real chore. In truth though, it really is very important for our health and wellbeing. So, whether you run a nice hot bubble bath with your favourite candle lit or curl up in front of the fire with a brew in your favourite mug and a good book, be sure to make some time for you this autumn!

Seasonal Celebrations

5. Seasonal Celebrations!

Before you go shouting the C word.... There's two other holidays just over the horizon! Of course we're talking about Halloween and Bonfire Night. Whether you're 7 or 70, don't miss out on these sensational seasonal celebrations.

After-all, Autumn should be filled to the brim with family, friends, fun and fantastic food! So, whether you dare to be devilish and take to the road with your four legged friend in fancy dress or forgo the fireworks and head to a local bonfire to toast some marshmallows, there's loads of ways to blow away the angst of autumn.

Shop Snap Share

See you on the other side of autumn! We hope you found this blog helpful. Don’t forget, if you make a purchase share your pictures with us in the comments or include #NaylorsSnapAndShare on your social posts for the chance to win a Naylors gift card!

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