Riding on Hard Frozen Ground? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 02-10-2010, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 56
• Horses: 2
Riding on Hard Frozen Ground?

So, all of you stuck in a place where the ground freezes in the winter and you have no 'footing', such as sand, do you ride your horses on the hard frozen ground? Or do you wait for it to soften up? Right now we have snow on the ground, but I was concerned about riding my older gelding on the hard frozen ground earlier this winter... that maybe it would be bad for his joints... you know, like running on asphault is bad for peoples knees?
Tink is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 10 Old 02-10-2010, 08:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 697
• Horses: 7
Some of my horses are ok with it, but most of them aren't. So I don't like to do it unless the ground is at least a little soft.
Pro is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 02-11-2010, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
I was at a clinic last week where the instructor said the best thing you can do for your horse in the winter is to walk him on uneven ground. It strengthens his collateral ligaments. They're the tiny strands that hold all the bigger stuff in place. It makes sense.

I don't trot or canter on hard ground. It's just not worth risking an injury. Spring will be here soon enough.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 02-11-2010, 11:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 24
For me, it depends on what the frozen surface looks like. If it has been muddy and the ground has frozen into ruts and peaks, I avoid those areas just to save possible cuts on their feet but I ride all winter long, I just stick to the flatter areas when it has been wet and frozen. If it is dry and frozen, then it really isn't much different than riding on hot dry packed dirt in the summer.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
smrobs is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 02-12-2010, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: sand lake, Michigan
Posts: 442
• Horses: 12
i have started in the winter also. we just walk to the place we want to ride then get on. but we ride out in big fields i would not recommended it.

12 days until Twiztid ( i get to see my Jamie) then two months until graduation.
appy rider 4 life is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 02-14-2010, 03:38 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,220
• Horses: 0
Arenas with sand also freeze! Sadly I don't ride when the ground is a rock. Usually it's slick too and there's too much risk for injury. Which means I haven't ridden as much as I'd like this winter...
upnover is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 02-14-2010, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 56
• Horses: 2
Is there any kind of footing that won't freeze? Hopefully Spring will be here soon and I can ride again... provided it isn't a mud pit, of course!
Tink is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 02-14-2010, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
Crushed rubber doesn't freeze. If you have a 50/50 rubber/sand ring, it would have get pretty cold before it froze to the point where you couldn't ride.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 02-14-2010, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas!
Posts: 569
• Horses: 3
i ride on anything but my gelding is young and with fantastic feet and super solid joints. He has no problem...plus the ground doesnt freeze much here...but when it does it is hard! plus frozen ground is just like hard packed dry stuff in the summer and we do have alot of that lol

So my verdict would be that it depends on the horse...if your worried about your boys joints then dont do it lol

Horses Will Listen...Even When No One Else Could Possibly Understand...
Pidge is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 02-14-2010, 08:39 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2
I've never seen much of a problem with it. To be honest, the little track we've made for ourselves in the front yard really isn't much more flexible in summer as it is in winter. It starts freezing mid-autumn, and we haven't had any problems. By the time the ground is frozen solid, we've got a hefty layer of snow covering it, and it's actually LESS concussion. I love riding in a nice layer of snow for that exact reason - it gives excellent traction, and it's way gentler on their joints.

However, we don't "seriously school" in winter due to the footing. If we have periods in between the ground freezing and the snow being deep enough, we take it easy mostly because the footing is so bad, the horses can slip.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

MacabreMikolaj is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frozen Horse? ShutUpJoe Horse Training 39 12-02-2009 11:37 PM
How hard would it be to teach a riding horse to drive? Jessabel Driving 4 10-12-2009 11:23 PM
Sudden lameness on hard ground? CloudsMystique Horse Health 34 10-05-2009 01:23 AM
And we all think just horse riding is hard... RedRoan Horse Videos 15 06-01-2009 05:29 PM
RIDING A HARD MOUTH sweetypie16 Horse Training 12 09-06-2007 10:26 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome