Who gives their horses the winter off?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Mayelix, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

    Dec 19, 2008
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    And yes you do have the right breed for running the roads.....the Arabian, hardy little suckers with lots of stamina and endurance. Unfortunately, not all horses are like that.
  2. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2012
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    Yeah just leave it, you know how this goes, don't feed the ego.

    Op do whatever suits you and your horse, Fergie is about to come back after a 3 month lay off, caused by work commitments and an extended trip away. Now I'm faced with getting her going again in the middle of winter, we do have an indoor, but we are also having wave after wave of Arctic outflow hitting us, so it's flaming cold. I will do what I can do within the limitations that we have.
    Tige Ress likes this.
  3. JinxedDream

    JinxedDream Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2009
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    I'm well into month 5 of my horse being out of work. I don't normally but at this time, its far too dangerous for me to bring this horse back to work in the winter. Normally I ride on and off all winter as the weather allows. This horse injured himself in September. He didn't heal until December and by then the weather was pretty bad. He wasn't a very safe horse to start with. Now he'd be down right dangerous if I just threw a saddle on him. Its going to be a fun 3 weeks to bring him back for work. I'm likely going to wait until February when the days get longer.
    Sam C. and mooselady like this.
  4. Rye9

    Rye9 Full Member

    Feb 20, 2013
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    I do, more or less. The past four winters, I was at a barn with a tiny(!) indoor, which was fine for the occasional ride but not great for any real work. I'd ride every couple of weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less. This year I'm at a barn with a really nice indoor that stays decently warm (~30F) and have been riding more, but my work schedule is exhausting right now and I'm going to school part-time, so I'm not getting out to the barn as much as I'd like.

    I don't show, so there's no big rush to get her legged up for anything in the spring. She maintains fitness fairly well (although I am not asking for particularly demanding work) so that hasn't really been an issue. She never forgets a thing but is occasionally silly for the first couple rides after an extended break (spring hormones don't help, either). To be honest, I'm not super consistent in having a work schedule for her at any time of the year -- because of that, she's not as far along in her training as she "should" be. She's still absolutely lovely to ride, very broke and well-trained, but just not a finished show horse at this point. Again, I don't show, and I don't have any plans to sell her, so... it doesn't really matter.
  5. LaceyInJuneau

    LaceyInJuneau Full Member

    Feb 25, 2011
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    I do not, no access to an indoor, and we have 3-4 months where the outdoor is an ice rink. She's on pasture during the day, and I handwalk for up to an hour a day on the road when conditions allow (at this point it's been almost a month since they were not an icy pit of death). We get better weather starting in March and then reconditioning can start, weather depending of course due to mud. It's not a horse friendly climate up here to say the least. The places with an indoor are better able to keep up on fitness, but with those you still have frozen ground and a lack of daylight which sucks the motivation out of anyone.
  6. Binca

    Binca Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2014
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    I haven't deliberately given a whole winter off for a while - apart from the young ones obviously. But I have never had access to an indoor and depending on the property, only limited access to arena lighting. So I have just had to ride a few times a week as time allows, and in the worst of winter sometimes give a couple of weeks off. As I am not competitive in anything at this stage I am not so stressed about them losing condition. Although Josh certainly does better kept in light work as much as possible!
  7. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

    Apr 12, 2012
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    I ride all winter, but if it drops below about 15 I don't ride. I might pull him out and groom him, maybe a light lunge line session, but no hard riding. Winter time rides are more about maintaining for me, so I usually only ride about 3-4 days a week. I ride more in summer because I also take my horse out for trail rides to give him some good mental breaks.
    kodemiester likes this.
  8. AmyK

    AmyK Senior Member

    Jan 16, 2010
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    No, but I just got on for the first time in about three weeks between weather and holidays. There was a lot of "whoop, trot" and "eeeaaasy" going on... Lol.

    More rain in the forecast tomorrow. :/
  9. CessBee

    CessBee Senior Member

    Nov 27, 2008
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    Sometimes, though there is certainly a difference between a horse that is stalled having time off and one that is paddock 24/7 on large enough, and preferably rolling to hilly pastures. The later will hold it's fitness, the former not so much. Studies have been done which show this.
  10. CowCatcher

    CowCatcher Senior Member

    Feb 23, 2014
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    Not on purpose!

    This winter has been wierd for us. It'll snow then rain on top of it making it hard to walk across the driveway let alone get anything rode.
    I've used my horse twice in 3 months to move or load cattle, that's it.

    I just moved to a place with an arena and roundpen but it is literally an ice skating rink. I'd hand walk a horse and that's about it.
    Trying to work a deal with the neighbors for use of the indoor arena. Show season is coming fast!
    Arem and mooselady like this.

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