Your horses deserve for you to bring your best self to them and a major component of responsible leadership is increasing your self-awareness and seeking to improve yourself by seeking to understand your needs, your actions, your thoughts, your reactions, your triggers, your learning style, your strengths, your challenges, your misperceptions, your limiting beliefs (about ourselves and our horses), the list goes on!
Once you begin to dive into the world of personal development you discover there are endless areas of understanding, education, and work, but it also becomes almost impossible to separate the two. Connections can be made in every area to our humanship and horsemanship.
According to lifehack.org, we should all be prioritizing reading each and every day. When I look at the list of benefits to taking on this habit, combined with my intention to become a more informed equestrian and a better version of myself, I couldn’t agree more.
A few benefits to reading daily that will positively impact your life as an equestrian are:
With the understanding that we should all read more, we want to help you prioritize reading daily into your daily routine. Here are our favorite ways to add reading into our days when we already feel like life has us pulled in so many directions:
- Morning Routine
Assess how you spend the first hour of your day? Is it possible for you to set your alarm to give you 30-40 minutes to dedicate to yourself and your horse in the form of reading? This is a great way to start your day off in a inspired mindset and allows you to feel connected to yourself prior to starting your day.
- Quality Barn Time
Do you equate quality barn time to doing? If so, you are not alone! So many of us believe we have to be “accomplishing something”, whether that be through chores or riding in order to justify the time we spend in the barn away from family, work, etc. We may also feel that productive time with our horses requires us to be doing things together such as riding or ground work.
Quality time does not always have to be spent DOING. It can, and should be at times, spent BEING.
A way to do this is to schedule 20-30 more minutes of time into your barn routine, or adjust your time you have already scheduled to grab a book, your horse and just BE together in a stall, the arena or pasture. Think of the relief an anxious minded horse would receive if they entered the ring expecting to work and you simply sat in a chair next to them and read rather than worked.
- Scrolling Time
Check out your screen time on your smartphone and when you feel the need to scroll, set a timer to go on social media for 15 mins and then grab your book and read for 15. If you have 15 mins to scroll Facebook or Instagram, you have 15 mins to increase the quality of your (and your horse’s) life through reading.
If you are looking to advance your personal development on your journey to becoming a more informed equestrian, here are 5 books we recommend reading or listening to. These particular recommendations will help with motivation and achieving your goals – horse related, or not, but stay tuned for more recommendations in future blog posts to help with development in areas of leadership, connection, awareness, confidence, trauma, and MANY others! If you enjoy short and to the point, over long books and would like podcasts, stay tuned as well for our future podcast recommendations!
Our motivation/goal crushing recommendations are:
💡You Are a Badass, @jensincero
💡The Productivity Project, @chrisbaileyauth (🇨🇦Author)
💡Everything is Figureoutable, @marieforleo
💡Atomic Habits, @jamesclear
💡Dear Limits, Get Out Of My Way, @kylee.hanson.bosswoman
💡Stop Self Sabotage, @drjudyho