Keeping a competition horse during winter
despite the fact that winter is almost over, i am still curious as to what to do during winter if you have your horses at home. I am bringing my horses home for the summer, and it was originally planned to take them back to the boarding barn for winter. however, since we are buying a second horse, keeping both at home during winter would be more affordable.
Does anybody here keep show horses at home? how do you keep them fit throughout winter? the cold weather aside, would riding on a plowed field be too hard on their legs? any ideas would be great!
i do have an indoor here, but i also hack out in snow. as long as there is not ice underneath and the snow is soft (not slick) i've even jumped in snow (horse was barefoot). with the right equipment (snowball pads or bare - i perfer bare personally) there are no issues with riding in snow. the issue is more with ice which obv i wouldn't ride in at all.
when you plow a field it can often pack down the snow causing the top layer to glaze over with ice which can make it less rideable than leaving it unplowed.
we also have longed in the snow to keep horses in work through winter. there's a lot you can do imo!
I take my horses for lots of extened trots just around the perimeter of the field for just in shape stuff. I also haul down to a barn every now and then to ride when i have the chance. I used to live directly across the street form my trianer and her vast arena, but unfortunately I don't have that luxury anymore!
There's a lot you can do. Even just going for a trail ride would be beneficial.
We have folks that trailer in to use our indoor during the winter.
We don't board, nor do we have an indoor, so during the winter I take them out on trail as much as possible. If the snow's deep, just walking keeps them in shape, or trotting to build muscle like in the winter. We have 1000 acres of field behind our house and I just do a lot of trotting and walking in it with them.
For me I find the winter is the time in which I am moving up levels, and during the summer is when I am trying to maintain training and fitness. During the winter, if you are serious about competing, it is essential for you to have access to a good area for schooling in your discipline 6 days a week. If boarding two horses is not an option you may have to choose one as a serious competition horse and put the other horse "on the back burner", or sell one. This is the reason I only have one horse!
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