Winter Training/Riding

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Winter Training/Riding

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  • Markwintershorsetraining

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    01-06-2013, 04:10 PM
Winter Training/Riding

So its winter now and I was wondering if anyone had any good lesson plans for riding the winter where I will be able to work my horse(because we do barrels in the spring) so that way she doesn't get out of shape and she doesn't forget everything this winter!
Thanks anything helps!
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    01-06-2013, 04:16 PM
Good luck! All my horses come out of winter rusty and out of shape. I think if you have a good indoor arena is the only way to keep everyone in shape and working. Without it, up here in SK it is sometimes just too dang cold to ride anywhere or do anything. And if it warms up generally it includes a terrible wind.
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    01-06-2013, 07:08 PM
Thanks katieandscooby! Except I don't have a indoor arena im hoping mainly to do alot of groundwork, tricks, and trust things just to make her a better all around horse! But I really wish I had an indoor arena!! Thanks :)
    01-06-2013, 07:12 PM
If you have access to a indoor riding arena use that but also you can get a horse in great shape long troting or even walking expecially through deep snow! Also I set up the barrels in the snow and depending how deep it is I walk or trot
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    01-06-2013, 08:58 PM
I'm in Sask, and I've been riding outside this winter (no arena). It's great, as long as you can avoid the ice. Once it hits -20 C I don't bother, but anything from -15 C and up is warm enough. It's all about the layers.

I started a couple fillies last summer, so I've just been carrying on with their training. Trail rides, getting them moving off the leg, backing, stopping, turning, transitions, etc... The only thing I'm conscious of is not to sweat them up, as I don't have a barn or anthing. I don't physically work them very hard. Just trotting, walking, and a little loping.
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    01-06-2013, 09:33 PM
If I didn't ride in the winter I would only get about 4 months of riding a year so I am out there as long as it is above -15 ish. I work a lot at the walk on softening cues and reinforcing stuff that may get missed while working on faster stuff. I also do lots of trotting through the snow to build muscle. It is a great work out. Just watch out for ice. I do canter but only in places that I am sure of the footing. The biggest thing to remember is to cool out properly and if they are sweated up make sure they have a cooler or blanket until the sweat dries or else they can become sick. Also don't work to hard when it is really cold because the cold air can be hard on their lungs.
    01-06-2013, 09:37 PM
I do a lot of slow work, concentrating on softening and refining cues. Ground work for fun, working on coming when they're called, staying, backing on command, moving their body around with vocals, etc. Nothing crazy, but we enjoy it and it can come in handy when riding. Especially if you're ponying or a noob is riding one of mine.
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    01-06-2013, 09:40 PM
One other thing - if it's cold, warm up the bit before you stick it in the horse's mouth.

Actually two things - you might find that your horse is friskier when it's cold, so you may want to warm him up more than normal on the ground first, and be cautious when you first get on. That's been my experience, anyway.
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    01-06-2013, 10:15 PM
Yes on warming them up a bit on the ground before getting on. Actually I like to take mine up to the pasture and let them run around for 20-30 minutes. They gallop around and get all the bucks out, but aren't in a situation where they are required to listen to me. Afterwards I do a little ground work and then ride.
    01-15-2013, 10:06 PM
When it's too cold for me to ride or do anything outside, I brush and do tight groundwork in the stall afterwards. I practice dropping her head, flexing from side to side, yielding hind and forequarters. You could do some tricks as well probably, like bowing. Also, backing up a little so they become unbothered by backing into something.

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