Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Mayelix, Jan 9, 2017.
I think the coldest its been so far was 28 degrees f... at night lol. the days are usually 45-58....
There's been some years here and there where I gave Sidney a few months off during the cold months. I live in MA and it's more that I NEED the time off than he needs it....LOL. But you know what, after a couple of months of not working him.....the first time I'd swing a leg over, it was like I had ridden him the day before. if you have a well trained horse....they DON'T forget what their job is.....ever.
Mine have gotten the past 2 winters off, not by my choice though, I've been in college and haven't got the cash to keep them around here, unless I get a job and then in that case I wouldn't have time to ride between work and school so, they just get winter vacation.
If I had it my way, I'd be riding as often as possible all winter, whether I had access to an arena or not (usually not).
Ive never boarded a place with a decent indoor, s its just never been worth the misery or treachery of trying to train in freezing temps or on frozen ground. The boys always got extreme weather conditions to just be Horse. Come spring we'd go back to work refreshed/ing and put a couple weeks polish on gaits and coats, month+ or so before shows started. He never lost ability or cue sensitivity. He didnt lose any more time or skill with winter off than someone would if their horse had some generous downtime from a stubborn hoof or leg problem. And he wasnt a fresh maniac or acting like he was unbroke+- from having time off measured in weeks or months. Energetic-fresh yes, but noting that wasnt controllable or he didnt come right down off of. Just a lil more punch-button than pushbutton.
I guess my main concern would be condioning... I do low level jumpers. He doesn't have an issue with being crazy or having to re-learn things after time off. I'm all for riding regardless of weather but it doesn't seem fair to make him work on frozen ground. The past few years I boarded where there were lots of big hills so I could do slow paced hill work whenever the conditions were bad but where I am now I just have a very small stonedust outdoor arena which is on the hard side as is *without* being frozen. My thoughts were start up in the latter half of March or early April if we're getting enough above-freezing days by that point...I'm in New England
Not by choice.
We ride inconsistently due to weather and lack of facilities.
It doesn't take long to get a horse "legged" up again in New England after a couple months off, been there and done that with mine. Working on frozen ground would NOT be good...so you are smart to err on the side of caution.
I don't agree that frozen ground will damage a horse's legs
I have run frozen ground, pavement, hard packed gravel roads without a problem for over 30 years
My last guy Strider had over 34,000 logged miles without a single lameness issue and I would lope pavement
Rio is studded up, padded up and runs frozen ground/roads daily and I love to lope without a problem
Hard going builds bone and hoof density and the little bit most would be doing will do no harm unless your horse is not a good one to begin with
People that won't ride in the snow do it because they don't want to, not because the horse can not
It can be minus 35 and we still run
Cold air will not harm a horse's lungs/airways. Our vet checked it out for me many years ago
Wear a full snowmobile suit, face mask, good hat, good gloves and properly shod it is better riding then in the hot summer days
Bright side? NO BUGS
If you are not riding in the winter it is because you don't want to, not a horse problem
You run yours....I prefer not to for the very same reason many marathon road runners end up with splints from the constant concussion on a hard surface.
I have always put high mileage on my horses. Even as a 12 year old kid our barn house and city house were 13 miles apart and I often traveled by horse back. I was always in a hurry so the horse ran most of the way. Never hurt one
Strider carried me for 17 years and often his weeks were 70 mile weeks
35 races and never once did he need the vet or come up lame
Rio has been carry me for 8 or 9 years, hard running on hard surfaces and he is sound and tight legs and I am no light weight
I just don't worry. I have the right breed for my requirements, a well conditioned horse that learns to run anywhere over any surface
You like quarterhorses. I broke Champ, Doc, sold him to a friend and conditioned with her and she won top quarter horse in endurance 2 years in a row and got her 1000 mile pin
He ran over the same hardpack that Strider ran without a problem
A lot of horses are just not up to it and I agree those should stay in the arena
But if you have a good specimen, the right build, the right breed you can enjoy them year round
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