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New Year, New Me: Get Out To The Barn & Get In Shape


December 30, 2021

Last year was rough for everyone. Most of the year was spent playing catch up with the excuse of “I’ll get out there more tomorrow” or “I’ll set aside time for that next week.” When in reality, you worked your buns off, gave your horse a wave, then went and sat on the couch to stream the latest season of your favorite show. Then fall asleep at 7:45 pm. Don’t worry. You’re still a rock star.

Horse and Person Sillouettes in field at Sunset

This year, you’re DETERMINED to get out and ride more, and to squeeze back into your favorite jeans that somehow managed to magically shrink. You’re just not sure how to do it. Multitasking is where it’s at. Hate the gym, but want to get in shape? Use your time with your horse in order to squeeze in a few reps. Getting in shape doesn’t have to be boring. Use the muscles you have to do the things you were already planning on doing to get into shape. Worried that other people at the barn might make fun of you? Challenge them to do what you’re doing. Who knows, you might even find an awesome workout buddy in the process.!

Don’t feel like you’re spending enough time with your horse? Check out these tips for how to get yourself off the couch and into the saddle.

Get Out And Get Going

Woman on blanketed horse with hot beverage cup

1. Take 10 minutes

You know that when you spend any amount of time with your horse, your mental health is a thousand times better. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Setting aside ten of those minutes to spend with your horse is not a crime. You’re not alone in the struggle of working full time and attempting to fit in the activities that you’re passionate about. Try adding one more barn day to your schedule, perhaps in the middle of the week so that you have something fun to look forward to.

2. Keep a change of clothes and boots in your car

If you work in the city (or anywhere that isn’t at home), keep a change of clothes and a pair of boots in your car. Then you won’t have the excuse of getting your “work clothes” dirty.

Ariat Ladies' Brown Terrain H2O Endurance Boots 10004134

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Carhartt Women's Clarksburg Pullover Half Zip Hoodie, 103240

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3. Stop on your way home from work

If you’re anything like us, you have been working your tail off all day, and you can’t wait to get your work clothes off and space out for a while. Why not put that last little bit of sunlight to good use and visit the barn? If you stop on your way home, you still have the momentum from the workday going and no couch temptation.

4. Listen to motivational music to up your energy level

Do you have a favorite music genre that gets your juices going? Is there a song that makes you want to slide across the floor in your socks while making pancakes on a Sunday morning? Motivational music will up your happy factor and make you feel more excited about life. Create a barn playlist that includes songs that you would want to ride to.

5. Your morning coffee is portable

Even if you are not a morning person, there is a magic potion that can help with that: COFFEE! Grab your favorite to-go mug, pour some of that energy juice in it, and get out to your horse. If you need a stronger kick in the pants than your coffee at home can give you, support your local drive-thru coffee shop and grab a pastry while you’re at it. You deserve it!

YETI Rambler YRAM14BK Mug with Lid, 14 oz Capacity, Triple-Grip Handle, Stainless Steel, Black

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Yeti Rambler Tumbler, Seafoam, 20 oz.

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Burn Fat While Doing Barn Chores

Man and Woman stacking bales on hay into barn on winter day

Since you’re at the barn already, why not work on your fitness level while you’re also working with your horse? Multitask by doing random exercises while you’re doing barn chores or training your horse. Check out these easy exercises that you can do without going to the gym.

1. Lifting Hay

Hefting 75-100lb hay bales is no joke. There is no reason why you can’t use this as a way to get in a small workout while taking care of your barn chores. Pay attention to how you’re lifting hay bales (if you just fling them you risk throwing out your lower back). Make sure you tighten your abs and pelvic floor, just like you would when you are in a posting trot.

Local Grass Hay Bale Two-String

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2. Bucket Bicep Curls

Don’t stack or buck your own hay? No problem! When you are taking your grain or brush bucket out, try throwing in some bicep curls. Hold the bucket handle so that it’s at your waist, and then slowly bring it up to your shoulder, do 8 of these on each side and you’ll see a difference in no time!

Little Giant Flat Back Plastic Bucket 20 qt.

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3. Saddle Lifts

Want to build your lower back and some more ab muscles? Try picking up your tack off the floor. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold in your core, bend forward at the waist, pick up and bring the saddle to your chest, then stand up at the waist. Repeat 3-4 times before walking your saddle out to your horse.

4. Desensitizing Jump Squats

We all know that horses have a tendency to spook at the most random things. Why not help your horse get over their fear while you build your booty muscles? Hold on to your horse, get into the squat position, and then jump as high as you can. Do this a few times at your horse’s head, stomach, and hindquarters. I know what you’re thinking, “This is great, but my horse isn’t bothered by stuff like that.” Well, try adding a milk jug or a soda bottle full of rocks to your jumping. It adds weight to your squats and brings a new element to your training. You could also try doing this with jumping jacks.

5. Saddle Sit-Ups

Does your horse need practice standing still? Get in a few sit-ups while they’re learning patience. Keep your feet in the stirrups and your hands on the reins (don’t want to lose your brakes in case they decide to start walking), lay back so that it looks like you’re laying on their butt. Then try to sit up without using any aides and repeat until your horse gets tired of your nonsense or your abs hurt.

Get Motivated To Get Out To The Barn and Get Fit With Wilco Farm Stores.

orse looking out of stall in barn

Keep your momentum going and stay fit with Wilco Farm Stores. Stop in and talk to our staff about their favorite products that keep them motivated all year long.


We would love to see your horse photos, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.

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