Keeping a riding journal might not have been something you've considered doing before but it's a practice that can bring a lot of benefits with it.
Journaling has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress, improve your immune system, keep memory sharp, boost your mood and overall strengthen your emotional wellbeing. When it comes to horse riders, journaling can be beneficial in a whole host of ways, on top of these ones. From tracking your progress, to keeping note of any illnesses your horse might experience, your journal can be a great resource to look back on - for both practical and nostalgic reasons.
Not sure where to start? I've got you covered...
9 journaling ideas for horse riders
Summarise your last ride
Include little details such the location, time, and weather so you can spot patterns going forwards. Or you might just find you jot down the details of a fun ride that will be lovely to look back on one day.
Write down your happiest memory with your horse
When you think of your horse and the time you've spent with them, what's the first positive memory to pop into your mind? Write it down before you forget it - include as many details as you can, including who you were with, where you were, what was around you, write down as much as you can possibly remember to really bring the memory to life!
Our biggest challenge today was...
Don't use this prompt to bring yourself down but consider what the biggest challenge was that you and your horse faced today. Note down how it made you feel, how your horse felt and then consider what you could do to improve if it happened again. Use this prompt constructively to give yourself something to work on next time you ride.
The three things I love about my horse are...
We all love our horses but of course there are days when they test us, so this prompt is all about showing gratitude and reminding yourself of all the beautiful things about your horse. Do they have kind eyes? Do they always greet you with a neigh? Your points don't have to be mind-blowingly amazing, they're just the things about your horse that make you smile.
The biggest lesson my horse has taught me is...
This will not only help to show you how far you've come but it might even come in handy if you can apply this lesson to other areas of your life. If your horse is quite nervous or quirky, they might have taught you to be patient. Or if your horse needs a firm hand, perhaps they've taught you to be more assertive. You might be surprised by the lessons your horse has given you!
What would the perfect day with your horse be like?
Describe it in detail! What activities would you do? How would it feel? What time would you spend with your horse? Where would you be? Would you be with anyone else?
Outline your goals for your next ride
Inspire yourself and give yourself something to aim for on your next ride by setting out your goals. Start off with a more generic goal and then break it down into smaller, actionable steps! Your overall goal might be to learn how to do a trick on your horse, so you could start with teaching yourself to be more flexible and your horse to accept you moving about on their back by first starting with around-the-world or half scissors.
Reflect on the time you spent with your horse today
Whether you rode or just spent time with your horse, reflect on how it made you feel. Record the simple moments - they'll be lovely to look back on!
List down key lessons
If you've had a lesson recently, write down some of your instructor's comments. They'll be useful to look back on and will help you to work towards improving those skills.