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How cold is to cold to ride....

This is a discussion on How cold is to cold to ride.... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        12-08-2008, 06:52 PM
      #11
    Trained
    The only reasonI wouldn't ride in the cold is because I am too much of a wuss

    It gets pretty cold here...-40 once. I would never go outside in that let alone ride but I have ridden in the -teens. I just do a long warm up and cool down and don't do anything difficult. Just bending and walking. Maybe a bit of a trot. I also have a really nice cooler I use on him and an indoor. It owuld be different if I had to ride outside
         
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        12-09-2008, 01:30 PM
      #12
    Foal
    I've got riding in the middle of snow storms (I did just this past Saturday, actually)..when the temp. Was well in the negatives, and my horse (who is in her 20s) has never had a problem with it. She is still [quite] fat and happy, despite our cold weather workouts. I don't work her very hard, though. Just so she's a little bit warm, occasionally she gets sort of damp, but I just cool her down VERY good and put a light sheet on her until she is totally dry. =)
         
        12-09-2008, 03:32 PM
      #13
    Foal
    First off, what part of MN are you from??? I too live in Northern Minnesota and it is cold more often than it is warm, the bugs are TERRIBLE when it is warm, so really no matter when you ride you are fighting SOMETHING!! Horses are MUCH more adapted to the weather than we are.

    I do ride year 'round and find that riding bareback is the BEST with a long riding "cape" on to trap the heat of the horse. You stay warm and he stays warm. It is the best of both worlds!

    The problem with the cold weather is making sure if your horse does sweat you pay attention to his ears (they freeze easily). If they are sweaty I would slow down or cool him off. No matter what the temp cooling down should be done, so ride like you always do, with a proper cool down. Just be prepared to have the cool down take longer, at least it will seem to, if you are not dressed for it!

    Good luck!!
         
        12-09-2008, 04:29 PM
      #14
    Foal
    I live in S. Michigan so it doesn't get too cold here, beleive me we have our days of below but even when it is below zero I baby my blanketed and hooded horses and they don't even go outside lol, but it doesn't get too low here so like 0 degrees F is as low as I go!
         
        12-09-2008, 10:25 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    Prbygenny- It does not hurt a horse to ride them during the winter. If you should be concerned about any issues it should concern body temp and thoroughly drying them before turn out because, as people have mentioned before, they can catch quite the chill from it (pneumonia usually). The least of your concerns should be about your horse breathing in cold air as they breathe it in whether or not you are riding them. They don't hold their breath when you leave them alone in the cold. I've always ridden my horses in the winter, I just always make sure to throw a cooler on them. My horses also get worked hard in the winter as I do sorting and barrels all winter long... and oddly enough nothing bad has ever happened.
         
        12-09-2008, 11:09 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Hello!
    I have always been told that if it is below 20*F that you shouldnt ride. I have been to some barns where people ride no matter what temp it is, but for me I wont ride if it is below 20*F. I can't stand the cold either lol!
         
        12-09-2008, 11:10 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Thanks again to all that replied. As I stated before this is just something that I had heard from some other riders here. I always spend time cooling and make sure my horse is completely cooled off and dry before butting him back out. I am such a freak about grooming and making sure everything is about him is just perfect before I leave him.
    I am actually the little watch dog at the barn I board at also, my B/O knows that everytime I go out to the pasture that not only am I getting my boy but I am always on the look out for anything different in the pasture or with any of the other horses.
    Thanks for your support guys!!
         
        12-09-2008, 11:12 PM
      #18
    Foal
    KR I just saw your post after I posted mine. Lol
    I wonder were that statement comes from? Because that is what I have been told also by some people?
    Interesting...
         
        12-10-2008, 12:16 AM
      #19
    Trained
    For outside horses, usually we won't pull them in to ride below about -25C. And if it's especially nasty we just leave them be.
    For horses that come inside during the night, I'll basically ride no matter what the temperature. A colder arena means less sweat to dry off. If the roads are gross though I won't go out. And I won't go to ride during the day because a) I don't want to walk in the cold and catch my horse and b) I like to let him have as much turnout time as possible, and if I ride him he basically loses 2 hours because I have to make sure he is dry dry.
    PS. It gets down to -40C not including windchill here. Crazy northerners is right. I would so much rather be in California, and seeing as my horse grows a summer coat for a winter coat he'd probably like it better too :P
         
        12-10-2008, 12:28 AM
      #20
    Weanling
    I ride in very cold weather, all winter long. The thing is...if its VERY windy I wont ride...because that ruffles their fur so much its harder for them to keep warm. Or if its very damp outside, I might not want to ride. HOwever otherwise I've not heard anything bad about riding horses in the cold, as long as you are careful and care for them properly afterwards....you know, cooler, walking out, and all that

    And im with anabel....bring on the nicer weather, hello cali
    Only thing would be the summer though, much too hot for me in cali =P lol
         

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