Winter Riding
 
 

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Winter Riding

This is a discussion on Winter Riding within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • My horse lives outside 24/7 can i ride him when he's wet?
  • Horse riding winter clothes

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  • 1 Post By Lexiie
  • 1 Post By DancingArabian

 
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    10-14-2012, 10:09 PM
  #1
Yearling
Winter Riding

I was wondering: Is it safe to ride in the winter?
What precautions should be taken when riding in winter?
What are the "do not ride in:"s in terms of rain, snow, etc.


What is proper cool down/care time if a horse gets sweaty?
     
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    10-14-2012, 10:14 PM
  #2
Started
Well, take a super long time warming up

I like using fleecy polos just because it adds a little warmth (and they're super cute ;) )

I guess you could ride in any weather, as they're outdoor animals. Although it wouldn't be very comfortable for you and I don't think they'd like to work out in sleet/hail.
It might not be best for them to be getting too wet while the weather is cold. (I baby my horse a lot though)
Luckily where I am I have an indoor.

If the horse gets sweaty using a cooler or even just a sheet will help keep their body temperature from dropping too quick and help them dry a little faster

It would be best to walk the horse until he's no longer hot or if you really feel like it, until he's somewhat dry.
     
    10-14-2012, 10:48 PM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie    
Well, take a super long time warming up

I like using fleecy polos just because it adds a little warmth (and they're super cute ;) )
Don't they get wet?
Isn't warmth on the legs usually considered undesireable?



---------------
-Take your time warming up.
-Be mindful of ice - horses can slip on ice! If your horse wears shoes, consider snow pads. Sometimes the snow balls up in the hoof because of the shoes and makes it dangerous for the horse - they walk literally on a snow ball. The pads keep the snow from balling up in a big way and getting stuck.
-Use a cooler if your horse is sweaty and do not turn them out wet, especially if you blanket. The time is going to vary based on your horse's fur, your ambient temperature, etc.
-If your horse turns into a wooly yak, you may want to consider body clipping.
-I would ride in the snow, but not in freezing rain - but that's just me personally.
-Quarter sheets are nice for adding warmth while riding, but some horses get too hot once they're warmed up. Some do just fine. My horse prefers to be warm. I like the style that covers my legs - it's like riding in a blanket!

That's all I could think of off the top of my head.
     
    10-14-2012, 11:19 PM
  #4
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Don't they get wet?
Isn't warmth on the legs usually considered undesireable?
No, because she gets tacked up in the barn and then taken to the indoor arena. (I lucked out there)
If we were going out of the arena, we wouldn't have any boots/wraps
DancingArabian likes this.
     
    10-14-2012, 11:25 PM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexiie    
No, because she gets tacked up in the barn and then taken to the indoor arena. (I lucked out there)
If we were going out of the arena, we wouldn't have any boots/wraps
Yea you got lucky! I don't have an indoor :( I miss having one.
Lexiie likes this.
     
    10-15-2012, 08:52 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Regarding the rider -

Never underestimate the importance of winter clothing - layers are the answer, I also suggest investing in thermal clothing, very good boots, head apparel (hats/ear warmers/etc) and gloves. Also, as the days get darker quickly, never forget wearing high-vis accessories if you are out in the trails. If I'm going for a longer trail ride, I also pack some toe heaters with me.

Also, regarding being warm - eating warming foods, such as chilli, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, oatmeal, etc., helps the body to keep warmer for a longer time. ;)

Regarding the horse:

Warmup is essential. Do it as long as neccessary. The same applies to cooldown. Other people have given some good advice here already. :) I cool my horse down walking him in-hand with a fleece rug on him until he is no longer hot and his coat is dry (I don't clip him).

Avoid offroad hacking. You may not see ditches and holes, broken glass or barbed wire under the snow.

Be careful in observing the roads you are riding - ice might hide under fresh snow and the horse may slip easily.

If the temperature goes under -15 by Celsium, ride only at walk.

Give the horse less work to do than in warmer seasons - most of his energy is spent in heating himself. That especially applies to horses who are turned out 24/7 or for most of the day.

Be considerate, that once it gets dark and there is snow around, the horse can become more spooky as his vision makes him see everything very contrasted (all bright black and white) at such environment and he might find some things scarier than in daylight.

My horse lives 24/7 in pastures also during winters and I ride him whenever it isn't too cold for myself and when the footing is rideable (we don't have an indoor arena) - he clearly enjoys that and riding through deep snow can also be a very good exercise for their strenght and keeping fit through the winter. :)
     
    10-15-2012, 02:41 PM
  #7
Started
1. I never ride on ice.
2. I never go faster than a walk on frozen ground. It's just like riding on concrete. I would never go faster then a walk on that, so why on frozen ground? I know some people do, but I think it would cause damage to their joints. I just go for a lot of hacks and do lots of hills during the winter. (no indoor)
     
    10-15-2012, 06:17 PM
  #8
Yearling
Thank you! I ask because there is an outdoor arena that we use to ride in in the summer, but the ground is SO hard especially in the winter. The horses are part of a renaissance group, and so we're rying our best to keep them worked year round without them going into "retirement" mode and having to work off excess weight.

Would pasture riding be safer than in the arena? I hear it turns into an ice rink or sorts once it gets snowy, then melts. I can block off the large pasture to use for an arena, but if the ground is frozen [not layered with ice, just super hard] should I keep to a walk?
     

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