Winter training woes - your opinion please

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Winter training woes - your opinion please

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    02-04-2011, 11:15 PM
Winter training woes - your opinion please

At the end of Fall, my gelding was going pretty well under saddle. He is still a little green, but was progressing. Then winter hit and I cannot ride as often. It gets really wet and muddy here and it is just too slick to ride, especially for a young horse that may try something stupid. A large field is all that I have to ride in and there is minimal grass for traction. I do not have an indoor ring and he is not ready for trails.

So, is it better to ride when I can, which ends up with a schedule like, ride one day, get 4 days off, ride again, get 3 days off, ride 2 days get 7 days off. The point being, it is not consistent at all. Is it better, for the horse, to wait until I know that we will have 2 or 3 good days to ride with only a day or 2 off before I can ride again? This would mean that he basically gets the winter off. I hate letting any good riding days go to waste, but I didn't know if it was more stressful to the horse to be so inconsistent with the training.

I am looking for advice on riding and not what to do on the off days. He has had plenty of ground work and desensitizing and we spend plenty of quality time together. I just don't know if I should bag the riding until the field dries out completely (that means Spring) or take my rides where I can get them.
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    02-05-2011, 01:01 AM
I had alot of good riding time earlier in the winter...but now it's getting really muddy and slick, so while I won't be able to ride a whole lot until it dries up, I still make it a point to get out and do some groundwork; I sometimes even saddle up, as well. Even if I can't ride as much as I would like, I still like to make sure the horse is still being worked in whatever form I can. And when it's nice out, I will, if you feel he is "okay" mentally, I would say just take the rides whenever you can. Concentrate on keeping him in "thinking" frame of mind between rides, by continuing with your groundwork exercises!
    02-05-2011, 06:21 PM
Green Broke
Yes to what mom2pride said.

I would also add that if you ride the intermittant schedule, do you notice any problems? You may not make great progress but if you do not notice problems, then it is not causing harm and may reduce the review when weather improves (tho where I live I am beginning to wonder if that will ever happen!).
    02-07-2011, 05:55 PM
FINALLY got a nice day to ride and it went well. So no problems and I get what you are saying about the review, although that is all I feel like we do now. Each ride is so spread out, that it is mostly review, but I guess every little bit helps. I just wish that Spring would get here and I could get him back in regular training. The weather this year has been very frustrating. I am sure that he is fine with things just the way they are. Lots of attention, with very little work.
    02-07-2011, 09:24 PM
Glad you got to ride!!! I was able to ride today too, and although we needed a little 'brush up' on our stops and backing, she did really well, albeit a bit energetic...Hahaha
    02-07-2011, 09:43 PM
Green Broke
I kind of had the opposite problem when I started our youngest boy. I had an arena to work in during the winter and it was close to home. When spring came, we moved them back to their first stable which is a ways away. I was able to work him regularly in the winter but not in the spring. Besides not being close, I had the other horses to ride also. So our boy only got rode about every other weekend. It really slowed his progress but he did still come along eventually. Take the rides when you can. Even if it doesn't help him progress, it will at least help him so he doesn't go backwards.

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