Riding in the snow?
   

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Riding in the snow?

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  • Does a horse slide in snow
  • My horse is nervous in the snow

 
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    12-11-2010, 09:32 AM
  #1
Yearling
Riding in the snow?

I have never done it and I want to do it SO bad! I live in New England so finding snow isn't a problem (although so far all we've had is a mere dusting)

I have a few questions because I want to do this safely.

What's the best place to do it? Trails? Sand Arenas? Fields?

What if there's ice under the snow? How can you tell if it is safe to ride through?

How much snow needs to be on the ground before it's rideable in?

Also at my barn in order to get to the sand arena's or trails you have to go down a somewhat rocky hill, is that going to be too unsafe?

Should I put one of those half blankets on my horse to keep him warm? Thanks! Any advice is helpful!
     
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    12-11-2010, 11:15 AM
  #2
Showing
Riding in the snow is sooo fun! Thursday my friend came over and we took the horses to the back 500 acres and just cantered around on Molly and Artie. It was so much fun, they loved it!

What's the best place to do it? Trails? Sand Arenas? Fields?
All three. Sand arenas I don't like riding in as much with snow because the small area can make the horse slip, depending on how big your arena is. It's more fun on trails and in big fields because there's so much room.

What if there's ice under the snow? How can you tell if it is safe to ride through?
I know there's no ice here because we had one huge blizzard and it brought in 2 feet, so there's no way there's been time for ice to have frozen underneath the snow. Usually if you start out walking and your horse doesn't slip and seems to have good purchase, you're safe to trot, and if he's fine trotting, you can probably canter.

How much snow needs to be on the ground before it's rideable in?
Any amount....I ride in 2 inches and I ride in 3 feet!

Also at my barn in order to get to the sand arena's or trails you have to go down a somewhat rocky hill, is that going to be too unsafe?
Hmm....maybe lead your horse down it first?

Should I put one of those half blankets on my horse to keep him warm?
What breed is he? I don't bother with my guys (even the thoroughbreds), I usually keep them working enough so they're not cold, but if your horse is clipped and usually blanketed you might want a quarter sheet.

Good luck! It's a ton of fun!
     
    12-11-2010, 05:39 PM
  #3
Yearling
My mom is worried my horse will slip and break his leg, she's also worried about if there will be divets/ holes that wouldn't be visible under the snow that he could harm himself in? What about those? But I'm also thinking he gets turned out in a huge pasture all winter and there are some serious divets and ruts from rainfall. Any thoughts on safe footing?
     
    12-11-2010, 05:41 PM
  #4
Yearling
P.s He's an appendix horse, she has quite the winter coat on him too.
     
    12-11-2010, 06:07 PM
  #5
Showing
We ride in the fields behind our house all the time so we know where the two holes are and avoid them. If you wanted to be on the safe side you could put SMB boots on him just for the added protection.
     
    12-11-2010, 06:10 PM
  #6
Yearling
He has special shoes for the winter, they have little rounded stubs on the bottom. Is that what you are reffering too? Sorry I don't know what SMB boots are ):
     
    12-11-2010, 07:07 PM
  #7
Green Broke
I love riding in deep snow. The more snow, typically the safer it is. The deeper snow gives your horse good grip, and you'll find they can actually be more agile in deep snow then on grass in summer! It makes me laugh that people are nervous about snow but ok with grass. Grass TERRIFIES me! I've had so many horses slip on flat patches, I've never had a horse go down on me in winter!

Snow acts as an insulator, so you'll pretty much never find solid ice under deep snow unless you're riding across a lake! Roads are the most dangerous, any area that's been plowed is usually slick as hell. Deep snow simply doesn't allow for slipping - even if there IS ice, your horse will slide half an inch and stop dead because the 2 feet of snow is too heavy to allow a leg to simply slide several feet forward.

Also, if your horse DOES go down in snow, the deep stuff pads them just as much as it does us! It creates a pretty darn good form of protection, I've had horses TRIP in snow before, and they just face plant into a big snow bank and jump back up going "God that sucked, SNORT".

Get out and have some fun!


     
    12-11-2010, 07:57 PM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey4793    
He has special shoes for the winter, they have little rounded stubs on the bottom. Is that what you are reffering too? Sorry I don't know what SMB boots are ):
Like medicine boots....galloping boots, splint boots, whatever term you prefer :)
     
    12-12-2010, 08:31 AM
  #9
Yearling
Thanks for the help guys! Now I just have to play the waiting game ;)

Today it's downpouring :( we've got a storm here, but it's brought warm air so instead of a snow storm we're getting a ton of rain.
     

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