Winter Riding

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Winter Riding

This is a discussion on Winter Riding within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horses running hard in deep snow
  • can you ride on frozen ground

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    01-04-2010, 06:59 PM
Winter Riding

Putting this in the health section because I'm looking to avoid hoof bruising on the frozen ground...

I have a dressage show with one of my horses on January 16th. I'm in Maryland and everything has been frozen for a looooong time. I don't have a sand arena or access to an indoor. I'm looking for an indoor in the area that I can haul to and pay to rent for an hour, but so far, no luck.

Where do you guys ride in the winter, other than non-frozen arenas and indoors? Does anybody just ride (carefully) on the frozen ground all winter? I'd like to avoid this, but if worse comes to worse... he's got shoes and could just do walk/trot, saving canter for the show warmup in the indoor...

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    01-04-2010, 07:12 PM
Hmm... although I live where it does not freeze that bad. I say it is personal preference.. there is a risk riding on frozen ground and the horse slipping and falling. Depending on what you mean by frozen. But in my opinion I think it will be okay. I'm sorry I can't be more help!
    01-04-2010, 07:18 PM
My horse wears snow shoes in the winter. They are studded shoes with metal tips (Borium?) to give the horse traction. We also put pads on all 4 feet for Jan/Feb months so the snow can't collect and cause him to slip. In the more powdery snow, it works very well. My sand ring is frozen solid and I'm afraid he'd twist an ankle, but the snow covered grass areas are fine.
    01-04-2010, 07:47 PM
I too have my guy studded up on all 4 feet along with rim pads to prevent snowballing. I run ice or snow without a problem. I also like to work in deep snow to further condition him. As far as extreme cold. It doesn't bother their breathing. I checked this out at a teaching hospital since I do ride in below 0 temperatures.
    01-04-2010, 07:57 PM
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
I also like to work in deep snow to further condition him.
does you put wraps on?
    01-04-2010, 10:27 PM
Thanks everyone :)

By frozen I don't mean ice/snow (although it's supposed to snow friday), the grounds just REALLY hard. Back when I boarded we never rode when it was frozen... but I entered this show and we need to get a few rides in beforehand.

He doesn't have pads on his shoes as we normally don't get that much snow - although we did have a blizzard the weekend before Christmas. We'll just do some easy walk/trot stuff and work on suppling, yielding and bending. Pick up the canter stuff at the show - it's just training 1 & 2, so hopefully he'll be good!
    01-04-2010, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
Horses hooves are made for hard ground.

If he's fine w.t... try a canter if its not slippery.

There A LOT tougher then people give them credit for.

Use your best judgement.
    01-17-2010, 09:28 PM
Hey you are from MD too. Awesome, so am I.

I know that when I ride on the hard ground in the arena, I like to try and break up the ground a little bit. I also put wraps on his feet to absorb some of the shock of the hard ground.
    01-17-2010, 09:33 PM
There seems to be less shock from frozen grass than from frozen dirt if that helps. Hopefully the recent semi-thaw softened things up bit for you.

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