Winter Indoor Riding
I'm getting my horse in 2 days!!! and thought of a question:
So I've figured mostly everyone rides inside during the winter. (We'll be outside until the first good frost) Going to the same indoor arena everyday must get REALLY BORING and was wondering what you do to keep yourself and your horse from getting bored. I know we'll be doing different things, but really, tacking up...walking 10 feet to the arena....riding in the arena....all the time. It has to get boring. So whatever you do would be great to know, thanks!
Well when I do my lessons, they're only ever inside an arena. Firstly because the outdoor riding arena isn't in the best of shape to be ridden in and they use it as a dry pasture lot, secondly because my barn's indoor is huge. I do dream of riding in fields and through forests and such, but I never really ever considered riding in an arena boring. If I rode a horse almost everyday, ya I'd probably want to go out and do something different, because routines can get tiring, but my trainer is pretty good at making us do different things each session, so we're not just trotting around. We do patterns, go over poles, sometimes we just concentrate on one thing, like cantering, or on a different technique to do something.
You can basically do a list of different things you want to work on with your horse, and then find exercise/patterns that could help, and you schedule it so every second ride you're doing something completely different. Riding in an arena may not seem very adventurous, but it has it's advantages.
1. The winter elements don't get to you as much.
2. The footing is sure so you don't have to worry about jumping here and then doing a slightly tight turn here, or worry about holes, etc.
3. Your horse can't run off with you lol. :P
Good luck with your new horse! :)
I ride outside as long as the footing holds, which is most of the winter unless you've got bad ice. Riding inside--just try different training exercises; work on something new.
Well at my boarding place its the same problem in the winter thank goodness they have an indoor arena though. It does get boring sometimes and i end up braving the cold occasionally loll but its not for the weak :-P but you cant do that all the time so it is alot of indoor riding. What we do is we have barrels and cones and pvc pipes and jumps set up real low. We set up an obsitcle course in there and just have fun with it going at different paces. Just make everything into a game. One of my favorite is putting a cone on top of a barrel and then when u get by it ask them to stop then pick it up and drop it at the next barrel, and then try it without stopping, and if it does drop then its good practic for them at letting you get off and then waiting for you to pick it up and get back on. also set up areas of pvc pipes to pass over and then cones to weave through. just mix it up youll be suprised what youll come up with out of boredum haha, good luck:D
Please don't double post. This is also in the Horse-riding section. Pick one or the other. For now, I'm going to the other one as it has two more replies than this one. :)
Do you have any area accessible to you for trail riding? I usually avoid the roads in the winter -- too slippery and generally dangerous. Bush trails are awesome though as the trees cut the wind and I used to always go bareback because it's warmer. Last winter, for some unknown reason I used the saddle almost all the time.
I don't do any arena riding at all, so I'm out there up until it hits about -20 celcius. From -18 to -23 it has to be a really nice day or my fingers go numb (health issue no matter what I wear). I dress in layers, wear mitts, not gloves and big boots with space in them so my toes are not even close to touching the sides of them.
Hmmm.....I ride in an indoor arena, maybe 5 times over the winter. TOPS. Only for drill practice.
If you have those facilities, great!!
I like riding outside. Indoor arena's always seem muggy, or stuffy, or something about them just...eh. Then again, I'm pretty awesome at dressing in layers to ride in 5 below weather:)
If you keep it above a trot, you won't get cold. At least that was our thinking when we rode in Afghanistan.
After my lessons (as a teenager) I have never had the luxury of riding indoors in the winter.
IF you ride outside there are few things to consider, none of which is boredom (for the horse.)
FIRST, watch the footing. If your horse slips he and you or both could get seriously hurt, or maybe a few pulled muscles and a few weeks layup;
SECOND, thoroughly walk your horse cool so that the sweat will dry somewhat while he's still working and kicking out extra heat;
THIRD, after a sweaty workout outside/inside your horse needs to be stalled and OUT of a draft. There are plenty of stables that have a few stalls located right where people enter and exit and allow for a draft. If that is your horse's stall location, you will HAVE to use a blanket and monitor him as he cools down. Otherside, blanket-less and out of a draft is enough to dry his coat. After he is dry don't forgot to do circular massages with a curry, then Dandyh-brush the coat with the hairs EVERYWHERE he has sweated, so he is comfortable.
IMHO, it doesn't hurt a horse to be bored. I don't think privately owned horses get enough drill on the basics to be solid on them, so winter is the best time to drill for perfection. Plan your rides and log your sessions to look for progress. Giving purpose to our riding will improve our horses.
We do have those snowy days where the sun makes it nice and warm to be outside, but the snow doesn't melt much. I often ride in my grassy, south pasture then bc the footing is best there.
(If my Ship ever comes in, my property has room for a larger indoor riding arena...I'm GETTIN' IT, if that every happens...**sigh**)
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