Equestrian Mental HealthLisa Weiss

Winter Escapes: Equestrians’ Guide to Stress-Free Travel from a Dually Licensed New Jersey and Florida Therapist

Four horses in a snowy pasture in the winter. Learn how counseling in Branchburg, NJ can support equestrians experiencing anxiety and trauma. Search for online group therapy in New Jersey and Florida today.

For equestrians, the winter months can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the frigid temperatures and snow-covered pastures in northern states like New Jersey can make riding and horse care challenging. On the other hand, the sunny shores of Florida beckon with their promise of warmer weather and ideal equestrian conditions. However, the journey from the Garden State down to the Sunshine State can be a daunting task, with plenty of stressors to navigate. In this blog, New Jersey and Florida therapist Lisa Weiss, LCSW will guide you through the process and offer some valuable tips for a smooth and stress-free winter equestrian migration for both you and your horse. 

Plan Ahead for your New Jersey to Florida Travel

Horse saddle and other equestrian equipment ready to be packed and brought on a trip from cold to warm weather. Our equestrian therapists in Scotch Plains, NJ and Branchburg, NJ can help you cope with equestrian-related anxiety, such as riding anxiety.

The key to a successful trip is meticulous planning. Start by creating a checklist of everything you’ll need for both you and your equine companion. Make sure your horse’s health records, Coggins test results, and any necessary health certificates are up to date Arrange for any required vaccinations. Using a trusted horse trailering professional is also key to help ease any anxiety. Do thorough research, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from fellow equestrians. Look for a service that specializes in New Jersey to Florida travel and has a track record of providing excellent care for horses.

Schedule Well in Advance

Horses in a trailer traveling from New Jersey to Florida for the winter months. Transporting your horse from one state to another can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing task. Fortunately, Read this blog to learn some tips for transportation from an equestrian New Jersey and florida therapist.Professional horse transport services can book up quickly. This is especially true during the winter migration season. Secure your transportation service well in advance to ensure that your preferred travel dates are available. Early booking will also allow you to plan your own trip with peace of mind. While it can be stressful, plan for the unexpected. With airline delays, allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. 

Request Regular Updates

Communication is vital when entrusting your horses to a professional transport service. As a horse owner, you want to ensure that your horse is in good hands. Utilize a service that  provides regular updates on the progress of the journey. Moreover they should be reachable in case you have any concerns or questions. This will help ease your anxiety and allow you to focus on your own travel plans.

Utilize Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate mindfulness techniques to stay calm and focused during the journey. Practice deep breathing, visualization, or listen to calming music to create a positive atmosphere. You can also utilize apps such as Calm and Headspace for guided meditations. A relaxed rider contributes to a more relaxed horse once you reach your destination! In my experience as a New Jersey and Florida therapist, many equestrians benefit from being intentional about their mindfulness practices. These techniques do not require a lot of time but they do have long term benefits. 

Belly Breathing

  • Inhale for four counts, ensuring that your belly is expanding
  • Hold for four counts
  • Exhale for four counts, allowing your stomach to contract.

Mantra Breathing

  • Pick an “I am” statement:
    • I am here
    • I am safe
    • I am confident
  • Inhale “I am”
  • Exhale the rest

Use Visualization

If you’re a beach lover, imagine yourself on Palm Beach Island in Florida:

  • What are the things that you could see? Waves, beach towels and sand
  • What are the things you could feel? The sand under your feet or the sun on your skin.
  • What are the sounds you could hear? The waves crashing against the shore or the sound of seagulls
  • What are the scents you can smell? The salty ocean air or sunscreen
  • What are some things you can taste? Perhaps you have your favorite drink or beach snack with you while visiting here.

Connect with the Equestrian Community

Equestrian riding their horse in the winter snow. A Florida and New Jersey therapist can help make the daunting task of transporting a horse down the east coast easier.

If you’re new to migrating down to Florida for the winter, reach out to fellow equestrians who have made the journey. Online forums and social media groups can be valuable resources for advice and recommendations! Connecting with experienced travelers in both New Jersey and Florida can provide insights into the best routes, facilities, and local equestrian events, fostering a sense of camaraderie. As equestrians, we know how valuable the community can be.

Managing Your Health

While it is normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the trip from New Jersey and settling into the barn in Florida, it’s still important to maintain both your physical and mental health. When we are stressed, it can be easy to not pay close attention to eating healthy, drinking enough water, or getting enough sleep. Ensuring you are taking care of your basic needs is essential during this time of transition. Your mental health and well-being should also not be put on the backburner during this time. Giving yourself time to slow down and stay grounded during the move is also important. Your physical and mental health go hand-in-hand!

If you’re having trouble managing during the transition, reach out to your support team. Whether this be your trainer in New Jersey or Florida or just a close friend that understands the stress of moving a horse (and yourself!) during the winter months. Being a dually-licensed New Jersey and Florida therapist allows me to support equestrians year round as they enjoy their passion or compete. If you’re finding it hard to cope on your own, a licensed therapist in New Jersey and Florida that has an understanding of the equestrian world may be able to help.

The winter months can be a stressful time for equestrians traveling from New Jersey to Florida, but with careful planning and preparation, you can make the journey as smooth as possible. Remember to keep an eye on the weather, prioritize your horse’s needs, and ensure both of your safety throughout the trip. With the right approach, your winter equestrian migration can be a successful and enjoyable adventure. Safe travels and happy riding in sunny Florida!

Interested in Equestrian Therapy? Contact an Equestrian Therapist in Scotch Plains or Branchburg, NJ

The change of seasons can bring with it stressful travel and horse transportation management. Our team can provide a safe space for you in your journey to finding stress-free methods to this yearly transition. Our equestrian therapists know the ins and outs of equestrian sport culture and are here to help you process it all with equestrian therapy in New Jersey. We have options for your care, including in-person sessions at our Scotch Plains or Branchburg, NJ counseling offices, as well as online therapy with our dual-licensed New Jersey and Florida therapist.  To get started, follow the steps below.

  1. Connect with us at Brave Minds Psychological Services.
  2. Meet with one of our equestrian therapists to discuss therapy for equestrian trauma and anxiety for a free consultation.
  3. Connect with yourself and your sport today.

Other Services Offered by Brave Minds Psychological Services

Therapy for equestrians isn’t the only service offered by our practice. Our team understands that you may experience concerns with more than one mental health concern, which is why we are happy to offer a variety of services in support of your overall well-being. We provide couples counseling, postpartum counselingfood allergies, and birth trauma therapy. In addition, we also offer general or EMDR therapy for trauma and anxiety. Our caring counselors provide mental health services for adults, teens, and children. We offer treatment for teen anxietysocial phobia in teenschild sexual abusechild anxiety, and more. Prefer building a support network with group therapy? Our therapists also offer several options for group therapy. Our services are offered in person at our Scotch Plains, NJ office and through online therapy in New Jersey.

Learn more about working with us at our Equestrian Anxiety page.

Contact us for a video or phone consultation.

(908) 242-3634 or Connect Now


Image of Lisa Weiss, LSW, Equestrian Anxiety Therapist at Brave Minds Psychological Services. She is a trauma therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ and does equestrian therapy in New Jersey. 07076