Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Riding Tips

  Despite the cold and uninviting temperatures that occur in many places during the winter, it is important to keep up an as regular a riding schedule as time and weather conditions will allow. It not only keeps your horse fit for the fast approaching show season, but also benefits his mental health as well.  Just four hours a week can be enough to get you and your horse ready for show season. Remember, though, to keep these tips I found in mind for more successful and safe rides.
Snow packed in a horse's hooves can make walking difficult and possibly cause lameness. credit

  • When it's cold and weather conditions are harsh, everyone wants to use the indoor arena, causing it to become quite crowded. If your schedule will allow, riding when it is less busy can make your rides more successful.
  • Make sure to thoroughly groom your horse. Grooming increases circulation, warming the muscles. Also check to make sure his hooves has no snow and ice in them.
  • Warming the saddle and bit using heating pads can make the ride more comfortable for your horse.
  • Be careful when longeing your horse. Often, an energetic horse will buck, straining a cold muscle or slipping and hurting himself.
  • Before moving to the more intense part of your ride, make sure your horse is properly warmed up, since cold muscles are easily injured. In cold temperatures, warming up often takes a little longer than usual, so take your time to thoroughly warm your horse, preventing injury.
  • If temperatures are below 20 F, it is best not to work your horse strenuously.
  • When you trailer your horse, make sure the trailer is in good condition and doesn't have a draft flowing through it. If it is below 50 F and your horse has been clipped, you may want to consider blanketing him for the trip.
  • Make sure your horse's water is not cold, frozen, or dirty.
  • Turn off or unplug uneccessary appliances or ones not in use to prevent barn fires. 
  • Setting goals, even small ones, can help you prepare for show season. Even if you do not show, setting goals and working on them can distract you from the gloominess of winter.


  1. Those are great tips! Luckily winter is pretty much over here in the high desert. Today the temperature is in the low 70s!!!

    1. Thank you! i'm glad it's not too here in northern California either.


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