Riding in winter?

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Riding in winter?

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    09-26-2009, 11:25 AM
Green Broke
Riding in winter?

Here and there I have heard mention of people saying that they are going to blanket their horse so they can keep working it in winter, or they are going to clip their horse so they can keep riding it in the winter. I am going to be getting Rocket a winter blanket anyway as we continue our journey towards weight gain, but I am going to make sure he gets his winter coat first. But should I worry about working him if he's fuzzy?

Sorry if this is in the wrong section.
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    09-26-2009, 11:36 AM
Green Broke
As long as you make sure he is cooled out properly you shouldn't have any problems. I usually work my horses all winter and although they have blankets, they will still get fuzzy. All the hair makes it harder for them to cool out and dry, and they will steam for a good 15 minutes. So make sure not to put the blanket back on until he is dry. Another option is to put a quarter sheet on while riding if it is bitterly cold. It always helps my horses.

Good luck!
    09-26-2009, 11:43 AM
I clip the hair off my horse's neck, chest and girth area. And I also blanket him. I'm a die hard I suppose, cause I will ride as long as it is above 19 degrees here. But since a I clip where he gets sweatiest, it speeds up the cooling out process, but he gets lots of blankets!
    09-26-2009, 11:51 AM
I guess I'm the oddball. I don't blanket and I don't clip. I throw my saddle on him and ride. Afterwards, I make sure he's dry before putting him back into the paddock. My horse is out 24/7 with a shed if he wants to go into it.
    09-26-2009, 02:07 PM
Green Broke
I always make sure that my horse is dry before putting it away. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to cause any problems by working my horse when he was fuzzy (even though I have ridden in the winter for the past 11 years).
    09-26-2009, 05:16 PM
I work my guys very hard in the winter. Because of the cold weather and the groomed snowmobiles trails I travel fast and far in the winter. I clip by guy and bury him under 2 warm blankets. With a clipped coat and temperatures well below freezing he can maintain a good lope for hours . I don't worry about breathing, only about how hot he is getting.
If I worked him like that with a full winter coat he would be soaked in no time and drying him would be next to impossible.
So with a clipped horse I can bring him into the barn almost dry, throw a good blanket on him and send him out.
Horses with full winter coats just can not work to their potential
    09-27-2009, 02:16 AM
If your horse gets anything like my paints coats in the winter (its like 3 inches long) its a good thing to blanket as some people have already said, it takes a LONG time to dry them out in the winter and having a blanket on doesnt mean he wont get a winter coat, just not as thick or long. I blanket in the winter because my saddle seems a little tighter with all that hair and it takes HOURS to get him dry afterwards.
    09-27-2009, 02:33 AM
The most important is having a good wicking cooler, made specifically for drawing the damp out of the horses hair, into the blanket.

That is what I do with Nelson after a good ride during the winter. After a lesson, I would untack him and brush his hair with a good curry brush, moving the brush against the grain - so that his hair stands up off his skin, and is poofy - if that makes sense. I then toss his wicking cooler blanket on him, with a high neck, that is made specifically for wicking moisture off the coat.

I leave him in his stall for a while, with a warm bucket of water and some hay and then take care of my tack.

If I have to towel off his neck, I will do that as well, runnig the towel against the hair grain - so that the hair stands up off his skin to help with the drying process.


I rode Nelson all winter last season, with no blanket on him *He had a great coat grown* no clipping. I would ride a good hard hour at a lesson, and we would end off hot and sweaty.
    09-27-2009, 12:51 PM
Ya, brushing the hair against the natural direction it wants to go, really does seem to help get it dryin.
    09-27-2009, 05:06 PM
This is how I clip my boy for the winter. Every place he is clipped his blanket covers well. Since I am in a boarding barn and want to go home I just untack him, give him a quick graining and yes I grain him in this condition and blanket him and send him out.
The main part of his body is cool, the short hair has no real heat in it but the long winter hair is wet. While he eats his grain I brush but as soon as the grain is finished he is out.
It is cold out and he has just finished about a 2 1/2 hour run at a steady lope. I pick the pace and then just sit back and enjoy feeling him rock under me.

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