Winter exercise when below zero? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By MyBrandy
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 122
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Winter exercise when below zero?

Hi There, We have been below zero here in Michigan for the month of January with high winds and wind chills of -35. I have no arena, indoor or outside, and my barn is three stalls with a 4-foot wide isle the length of the barn so I have no areas inside my barn to work my horses. We have 3-ft drifts encircling our barn so I'm pretty much just feeding my horses and keeping my water from freezing up out at my barn. I'm wondering what you all do with your horses when it gets so inhospitable for riding or ground work? Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
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Ya that is pretty much the kind of exercise I get here in Chicago... My horses exercise their jaws while burning hay to stay warm LOL
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 10:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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I take my horses on walks. I live in a frozen tundra as well :p
They really enjoy it and as long as I bundle up its not to bad. Hope I helped!
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 11:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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There isn't much you can do. Exercise, for both you and the horse, can be harmful to the respiratory system. Let them hang out and nosh their hay, they need it to keep warm.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-28-2014, 11:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 707
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I live in Michigan too :)

It's difficult to get out very often, but I do still ride in the winter! I do live on dirt roads though- and they're always plowed. Or we go through the fields.

I tend to keep our winter rides short and sweet- we'll go romping through a field or bop down the road for 20- 40 mins tops. By then, I'm sure the horse is tired and I'm starting to freeze my butt off! :)

"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." -- Albert Einstein
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-29-2014, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Winter is the season of jaw workouts! I actually go out in the tractor and make a round pen out of snow banks which is kind of makeshift, but it works.
When the weather does warm up a little (-15 ish) I ride bareback... a lot. I do very little riding in the saddle during the Winter months, but riding bareback also includes a heated seat
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-29-2014, 11:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
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If you have a turnout area, turn the horse/s out. They'll enjoy a good romp in the snow. Maybe even a roll. Leave them out for a few hours with a little hay. They need the exercise to aid circulation and digestion.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-30-2014, 02:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Riga, Latvia
Posts: 5,652
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When it gets too cold for me to do slow paced groundwork or riding at a walk, I simply take my boy on in-hand trail walks. It's good for both of us, both mentally and physically, and also doesn't let him stiffen up from standing and eating all day. :)
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