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This is a discussion on RIDING HORSE IN THE WINTER *First time* within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
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    10-17-2013, 10:02 PM
Exclamation RIDING HORSE IN THE WINTER *First time*

I am hoping to ride my horse in the winter/snow for the first time this winter. Both his original trainer (Ann Kirk) and previous owner tell me they had never ridden him in the snow. He is 13, he's a great horse can be a little hot at times (He has allot of thoroughbred in him). I have ridden him like crazy (I rode him allot*) this summer was bucked off twice ah hahaha good times...... Anyway Sunny my horse has never been ridden in the snow, does anyone know how horses normally react to this? Do they normally freak out a bit or anything? Also allot of poeple talked about not ridding with a bit because of the cold????

How do you do this?????????
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    10-17-2013, 10:18 PM
Riding in snow is like riding a prancing horse! They are so much fun if the snow is nice and deep (1 ft or a tad more)

The only thing is that snow packs under the hooves easily, so be aware of that.. and of course ice is usually around which can be slippery.
boots and LyraFreedom like this.
    10-17-2013, 11:42 PM
My answer will depend on what kind of snow temperatures you are talking - -2C or -20C?

Riding in the snow is possible and can be fun, but you need to be aware of the potential hazards. And these vary depending on what 'kind of snow' it is
    10-17-2013, 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Riding in snow is like riding a prancing horse! They are so much fun if the snow is nice and deep (1 ft or a tad more)
Where do you live that you consider 1 ft to be deep?
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    10-17-2013, 11:51 PM
I think she meant that when it's a foot or more it is more fun than a couple inches and it hurts less if you get bucked off :)
    10-17-2013, 11:53 PM
I'm guessing it will be around 20F to 30F maybe a bit colder/warmer at times.
    10-18-2013, 01:20 AM
Originally Posted by jamesqf    
Where do you live that you consider 1 ft to be deep?
I really don't like your tone, lol

I find that having at LEAST a foot of snow to ride in causes the prancing. I used to live in CO, where we had at least 4-5 feet of snow every time it came down.

Now I live in NZ where it doesn't snow.
Saskia and LyraFreedom like this.
    10-18-2013, 07:19 AM
As was mentioned above, the amount of snow you anticipate riding in will make a difference. The big thing, I think, is to pay close attention to the hooves before and after your ride to make sure there is no snow or ice packed in. For your bit question, yes, you can ride with a bit. However, some horses will object to the really cold metal, so you may want to warm it up a tad before putting it in your horse's mouth. I will put the bit in an inside pocket to warm up while I groom or just hold it for a few minutes if I'm too lazy to take the bit off the bridle.
    10-18-2013, 08:22 AM
Okay, I've just done my temp conversion and I believe you'll be in -6 to -1C .

Your snow will likely be wet and likely to stick in the horses hooves. If your horses are shoed that is a much bigger problem as the body-temp frog melts the snow, then the ice-cold shoe freezes the snow.

Balled snow in hooves your horses can cope with but be aware of what's going on and make allowances.

Also, if the temperature heads towards 0 Celsius (32 deg F) then there will be a lot of ice on the ground as the snow melts and freezes. THIS is what you must be aware of. Ice on the ground is dangerous, and ice hidden under fresh snow more so. Ice on Tarmac roads is deadly!

So in summary - pray for lots of lovely fluffy snow in temperatures 20F or below

As to the bit, I have a bit warmer (purchased from a member on this forum, it's a microwaveable bag thingy) which I use but I have plenty of friends here who don't bother. Here it gets to -10 deg C frequently and to -40 infrequently and many people just warm the bit inside their jacket.
LyraFreedom likes this.
    10-20-2013, 11:17 PM
Thanks much Shropshirerosie, that reply was very helpful!!
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