Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
I work my horse a bit less intensly in the winter, but I still am able to work at the walk, trot, and canter on the snow. Usually, if I keep the arena or an open area well ridden in, it will keep the snow packed and crumbly, so it is not hard for them to move in and not usually slippery. I only have to worry if the weather warms and the snow melts, turning to ice when it refreezes....then I try to work up the ground, but hope for more snow.
I would suggest doing a lot of walk and trot work. Trot work will be very beneficial to helping your horse stay strong and balance for when you pick up canter work more seroiously.
I also try to go on short trail rides over the winter (I try to keep a few of the same trails well packed enough to ride all winter). On these trails I walk, trot, and canter. I don't know if you are comfortable cantering on trails, but sometimes it is easier for them to canter on a strait trail than in the enclosed space of an arena.
I wouldn't worry too much about pushing the canter training if it is too difficult to do....just keep riding, and it will all come together in the spring.