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luvmytobipaint 02-02-2011 10:04 AM

Ok for horse to sit for months?
I had to move my mare to a barn that has no riding arena, only road and field riding. The weather has been either too cold or icy so I haven't been able to ride her or even work with her since October. Will she be ok come spring or crazy and un-ride-able? She's a trail riding horse so no major workouts even in good weather. So she is sort of used to 'sitting' at least for a couple weeks at a time anyway, but I'm a bit worried about how she will be after sitting for 4 months. Anyone else ever been in this situation?


Speed Racer 02-02-2011 10:08 AM

If she's a little antsy after her down time, make sure to lunge her before you ride her.

If she's used to being off awhile and is a been there, done that sort of horse, it shouldn't take her long to get back in the regular groove.

Just don't overwork her at first. Like any athlete who takes time off, they need to be brought back into work slowly.

MN Tigerstripes 02-02-2011 10:12 AM

Yup, mine are usually a little wacky in the spring, but once it starts getting decent I do some groundwork to remind them of everything. Soda takes a little longer to get to the behaving point, but a lot of that's his personality. I've dealt with others where it takes very minimal groundwork and they're pretty much good.

I'm interested to see what Miss Lily is like...

franknbeans 02-02-2011 10:12 AM

From my experience, it depends on the horse, their personality, training and energy level. Life happens to all of us, and there are times our horses "sit", so rest assured you are not alone.
If you are unsure of what she will be like once the weather breaks, I would suggest round work to assess her, until you are comfortable that she is going to be safe to get on.
I have one who is now 21, and for the last few years I leave him in NY for the winters, while I come home to va. He was unridden for as much as 6 months. Come spring-he is just like I rode him yesterday. I am careful though to make sure I gradually increase his work and stamina. My newer one, however, altho he would probably be fine, I would be more hesitant to do that with, so if he goes any time (like a week) without being ridden I do ground work first, then get one once I know he is listening.

Walkamile 02-02-2011 10:13 AM

Well, my two have been "sitting" for over a year now. Except for a couple of trail rides this past summer, I wasn't able to ride. They are able to self exercise in the fields, and they have a large paddock to move around in when they choose to. Hasn't caused any issues, and if I saddled up right now, neither would offer any shenanigans as that is not their nature. Very sane, even keeled horses. A more hyper/hot tempered horse probably would have a few issues sitting, but it will depend on the temperament of yours.

If you could, just hand walk and reinforce ground manners. Will only help when you are finally able to saddle.

WickedNag 02-02-2011 10:19 AM

have to agree with franknbeans ...will depend on the horse. Mine all sit all winter and they are fine come spring when the snow is gone and the weather is warmer :)

Alwaysbehind 02-02-2011 10:22 AM

Another vote for it depends on the horse.

When you can ride assess her attitude and deal with it appropriately.

I agree, be careful to not over do it the first rides of the season.

luvmytobipaint 02-02-2011 10:36 AM

Thanks guys. I appreciate your comments. She is a level headed horse that has sat before for bits at a time and been just fine. I usually always do groundwork before riding anyway, so she should be fine. I will be careful not to do too much in the first few rides come spring.

Alwaysbehind 02-02-2011 11:01 AM

Many of us do not have an indoor to keep our horses in shape during the winter so we will all be in the same boat as soon as the weather changes enough for us to ride.

MN Tigerstripes 02-02-2011 11:24 AM

My horses average sitting 4-5 months out of every year. I don't have an indoor and once it gets icy I'm done, beyond an occaisional light walk. Then there's the spring mud which makes it even hard to ride.

So don't feel bad, like Always said there are a ton of us in the same spot you are. You just work with what you have. I try to spend the non-riding months working on hoof manners and little tricks (coming when you're called, ground-tying etc).

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