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I am hoping to ride my horse in the winter/snow for the first time this winter. Both his original trainer (Ann Kirk) and previous owner tell me they had never ridden him in the snow. He is 13, he's a great horse can be a little hot at times (He has allot of thoroughbred in him). I have ridden him like crazy (I rode him allot*) this summer was bucked off twice ah hahaha good times...... Anyway Sunny my horse has never been ridden in the snow, does anyone know how horses normally react to this? Do they normally freak out a bit or anything? Also allot of poeple talked about not ridding with a bit because of the cold????

How do you do this?????????:shock:
 

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Riding in snow is like riding a prancing horse! They are so much fun if the snow is nice and deep (1 ft or a tad more)

The only thing is that snow packs under the hooves easily, so be aware of that.. and of course ice is usually around which can be slippery.
 

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My answer will depend on what kind of snow temperatures you are talking - -2C or -20C?

Riding in the snow is possible and can be fun, but you need to be aware of the potential hazards. And these vary depending on what 'kind of snow' it is :)
 

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Where do you live that you consider 1 ft to be deep?
I really don't like your tone, lol

I find that having at LEAST a foot of snow to ride in causes the prancing. I used to live in CO, where we had at least 4-5 feet of snow every time it came down.

Now I live in NZ where it doesn't snow.
 

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As was mentioned above, the amount of snow you anticipate riding in will make a difference. The big thing, i think, is to pay close attention to the hooves before and after your ride to make sure there is no snow or ice packed in. For your bit question, yes, you can ride with a bit. However, some horses will object to the really cold metal, so you may want to warm it up a tad before putting it in your horse's mouth. I will put the bit in an inside pocket to warm up while I groom or just hold it for a few minutes if I'm too lazy to take the bit off the bridle.
Adrianne
 

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Okay, I've just done my temp conversion and I believe you'll be in -6 to -1C :D.

Your snow will likely be wet and likely to stick in the horses hooves. If your horses are shoed that is a much bigger problem as the body-temp frog melts the snow, then the ice-cold shoe freezes the snow.


Balled snow in hooves your horses can cope with but be aware of what's going on and make allowances.

Also, if the temperature heads towards 0 Celsius (32 deg F) then there will be a lot of ice on the ground as the snow melts and freezes. THIS is what you must be aware of. Ice on the ground is dangerous, and ice hidden under fresh snow more so. Ice on Tarmac roads is deadly!

So in summary - pray for lots of lovely fluffy snow in temperatures 20F or below :lol:

As to the bit, I have a bit warmer (purchased from a member on this forum, it's a microwaveable bag thingy) which I use but I have plenty of friends here who don't bother. Here it gets to -10 deg C frequently and to -40 infrequently and many people just warm the bit inside their jacket.
 
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I use Mushers Secret in the snowy weather- apply a generous amount to the inside of the hoof. I've also heard of spraying Pam cooking spray in the hooves but you have to use a lot and may need to reapply.
If it's relatively warm I just put the bridle around my neck against my body and zip up my jacket to warm the bit while I'm grooming and saddling. But on those days when frost is stuck to eyelashes, I just ride in a halter to keep the saliva from freezing on his mouth around the bit.
Since your horse hasn't been ridden in the snow before, you may want to do some hand-walking to judge how he handles himself and progress to some roundpen work. Once your confidence is up, you'll be unable to resist the urge to take a beautiful ride in the snow and enjoy the quiet air and the soft crunch of your horses feet underneath you!
 

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Does your horse get turned out in snow? If they do, they should be just fine riding in it!
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we ride down to -30 celcius. below -5 and the snow doesn't ball up too bad, below -10 and it doesn't ball up really at all.

most horses that have been out in snow will be fine being ridden in it. avoid areas with ice, don't ride if the snow has melted and refrozen with a crust on top. any low areas will collect snow, so ditches and such can get deep.
 

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Just make sure that you don't go any faster than a walk and your horse should be fine. Horses are used to snow and if they are good with it normally and they are good with a rider normally, they should be fine if you combine them.
 

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We don't get much snow, but riding through the fields you need to be aware of big rocks and/or holes that you can't see.
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