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Discussion Starter #1
To get to my house (or barn) you have to drive down a mile long, dirt, drive-way. I live so far away from civilization! The point I'm trying to get at is everything around the barn and my house is trees, it doesn't leave me with any flat open land to ride on. I haven't rode my horse all winter and he's becoming a little *****. I have no idea what I can do. I ride him on the trails whenever the snow isn't a few feet (which it has been) and I ride him on our road when it isn't icy (rarely). Before winter it was great because the ground was frozen instead of all mud, and I rode every other day.

I hate it because he just got out of training in the summer and I don't want him to forget anything. D; I loved the barn he was at because they had the indoor. I know alot of people give their horses the winter off but if I do that with my horse then he gets bored and boredom leads to trouble, and trouble leads to being an ***.


Anything I can do in the winter, that is safe?
 

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First question: Why did you move from the boarding facility to your house?

I'm basically going to give you the suggestions everybody says, which are tricks and ground work. I personally lunge Ice at least 3 times a week now because the saddle I have doesn't fit him, and we've also been working on things like ground tying, refining his verbal cues, and teaching him to lunge on a line. We might start ground poles soon.

I totally understand where you're coming from though, Ice actually loves to work, although he tries to test me a lot, and if he gets more than two days off he starts turning nasty.
 

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hee hee. You sound like me! For the first few years we were here I had to ride down the gravel road to the trail to find an area flat enough to work and then it was a small straight stretch of dirt road where I could jog and lope. What a pain! I now have a flat area I call a riding arena but it's still not perfect, has no fence and no sand... I'm slowly getting there.

I feel for you.
 

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ARRRGGGG!!!!! It's the snow here in ohio. Normally we'll get snow in the winter, but it melts off enough to still ride. This year its relentless.
I was supposed to move to a barn with an indoor for a month or two to continue training, but it has snowed so much that the trailers are all plowed in!
I feel your pain with not being able to ride or keep up with training. grrr...where is spring?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I left the barn because he was done with training and he was coming home for rest. I would send him back in a heartbeat but with college,gas,work, and just life I can't at this time.

Farmpony & Wren, I'm glad someone knows where I'm coming from. xD
 

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I agree with justsambam - if riding is out of the question due to weather and ground surfaces, ground work is key. SOMETHING to keep his brain focussed and not let him forget about respect and trust.

I'm *kinda* in the same boat as you - no arena, no barn, but we make do with our tiny front yard and we have a small paddock to ride in...still has 3 feet of snow, but it just makes them work a little harder. Because we have no barn to cool them down adn dry them off in, work is typically light, minimal cantering, and we try to keep them dry, but it's enough to keep them going in winter.
 

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I ride him on the trails whenever the snow isn't a few feet (which it has been)


Anything I can do in the winter, that is safe?
We went out on trail for a couple of hours on Saturday - in the deep snow. It was a great workout for the horses.

In our outdoor arena or round pen - we start out walking the same circle to flatten the snow a bit and then start a harder workout.
 

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I've just been riding in the paddock. I was riding in the pasture, but I don't trust the ice under the snow there. My driveway is glare ice and the sides next to it are 6 ft high with plowed snow. I don't have a trailer either, so I just try to work with what I've got.

The paddock is pretty small and snow filled, but at the very least we're working walk/trot transitions, listening, leg/seat aids, etc. I also make it a point to pick out his feet and make him move around a couple times a week w/ no tack (usually when I feed). It seems to remind him that I am indeed the leader. He'll still be a butt this spring but hopefully not as bad as last year.
 

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I'm in the same position as you. I have an arena to to groundwork in, its not big enough to ride in. The snow isn't the issue here now its the mud, goes straight up to your calves in some spots.
I'm just sticking with groundwork until it's somewhat nice out can never have too much groundwork!
 

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Don't let the snow stop you. Deep snow is a great way to keep your horse in shape. Get a path packed down and make your own figure 8 for training purposes if you like. It's a great way to see how well you can stay on track.

I ride my horses in snow up to their bellies if it's light snow. I watch for ice and crusts and stay in areas I know what is under the snow. If they can walk through it without me on them, they can probably do it with me on them too. The only thing I don't do in the winter that I do in the summer is day trips. Wish I could, but my trailer isn't good enough to transport in the winter -- too cold IMO.
 

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Agreed with everyone else. It doesn't take long at all to make yourself little paths in the deep snow. We have several "circles" in the front yard and paddock tamped down, as well as figure eights.

It's actually REALLY handy, because it's fantastic for really schooling a horse on leg and seat - they want like heck to stay on the tracks, and you can really feel your work progress as you try using just leg and seat to move them OFF the track.

We've never let the snow stop us. You can't do as much, but you can certainly keep your horse in half decent shape both mentally and physically throughout the winter, even without rings and arenas!
 

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Take him for a walk (you know..w/ the lead rope, like a dog:D)
 
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