• Tips for Winter Riding and Care

    19/01/2016

    We all know that riding in the winter causes some concerns but as long as you do it safely it can still be fun

    Here are a few tips:

    • Think about what it is like for you to wade through snow – it can be hard going, so make sure you adjust your horse’s workload accordingly, as it will be hard going for him too.
    • Make sure you give your horse time to adjust to the ground conditions. Slow down when schooling to make sure he gets used to the conditions and feels confident that he can stride out
    • Do not turn your horse out when he is still damp from exercise. Plan extra time for him to cool down, and put a rug on him. If the rug gets damp, change it and when he is dry, you can put him out.
    • If your horse is used to being stabled and rugged, when he goes out, his muscles can get cold, so try a rump rug to keep him warm. Try this out on your horse to make sure he is used to it before you mount.
    • If you hack out make sure that it is in an area free from holes, branches, poles etc. as these could be hidden under the snow.
    • On a really cold morning, try warming the bit as it can be very uncomfortable when putting it in your horse’s mouth. Warm it with your hands.
    • Although it is very tempting to wear warmer and bulkier boots in the cold, DON’T as they can get stuck in the stirrups and can cause more injuries if you do come off.
    • Always make sure that your horse has an adequate supply of water, make sure that it is not frozen and that he is getting enough; if not this could cause winter colic.
    • In the winter your horse uses a huge amount of calories to keep warm. Use a high quality hay. This should be readily available to him and should be kept dry and clean.