Winter Riding: breaking trails with snowmobiles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-31-2012, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Winter Riding: breaking trails with snowmobiles?

I was wondering if it would be safe to break trails for horses using snowmobiles? Would it make it easier or harder for horses to walk in the packed down snow? Has anyone ever tried this?
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-31-2012, 06:25 PM
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I personally would not break trail with snowmobiles. They can pack down the snow, make it hard and icy as well as harder for the horses to walk in. I have found how well horses can move through snow and I would allow them to break trail on their own. We did do a winter photo workshop in four feet + of snow and we had to use a four wheel drive tractor to make crossings in the creeks where the snow was five to six feet deep. Other than that the horses handled the rest really well.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-01-2013, 08:35 PM
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Depends on your area. If you live where the snow mostly stays fluffy and temps don't get much above 20, it works great. If you're in a slightly warmer area where daytime melting happens, it can make for some slippery spots. I personally like the idea of having set tracks to ride in. I can see ice. I can't always guess where a hole might be in deeper snow.

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post #4 of 19 Old 01-01-2013, 11:47 PM
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we've ridden on trails that have been packed by snowmobiles, it's harder I found for my horse because it's hard on top and they break through.....

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-02-2013, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice....ill let the trails be...we will break trails with the horses :)
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-02-2013, 12:12 PM
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What's a snowmobile?
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-02-2013, 12:16 PM
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Horses are going to break through either way. Basic physics. Each leg is approx 1000 pounds of pressure. The snow mobilers don't like horse on their trails as they pock up the trail
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-02-2013, 12:37 PM
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We ride on trails that are broken by snowmoblies (and moose, and dog teams) and the horses don't mind, but they also have no problem breaking trail themselves, provided the snow is powdery, and not crusty/icy/sharp. If you are familiar with the footing underneath the snow (and the conditions are safe), I'd say letting the horses break trail might be a better option.
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-02-2013, 12:42 PM
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Most of the trails where I am are all snowmobile trails, as their club owns them. The horses are aloud on them, but it's so cold here that a lot of them are very icy. We stick to the trails the horses, moose, and wolves have broken already, or if I know the footing is safe I will break my own trail. Just depends on your snow where you are, safe riding!

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post #10 of 19 Old 01-02-2013, 12:56 PM
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I would never ride around / near snowmobiles here. They ride on the state trail we share with them during winter months but go VERY well over the speed limit. I'm talking between 60-100mph on them. It's so dangerous, I would never. Granted some areas might be better and depending on the snow's condition and whether it's melted or not. Here though I'll stick to riding the back 40.

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