It can be hard to stay motivated through winter. Not only does it get dark earlier, but it can be cold and snowy too. You may be wondering if it’s smart or even safe to ride your horse. In many situations, it’s a good idea to ride throughout winter. It can keep your horse fit and healthy. However, before you saddle up, check out these tips!
The Do’s of Winter Riding
- Dress in layers
- Wear appropriate boots that fit easily in your stirrups
- A thin layer of petroleum jelly on the bottom of your horse’s hooves can prevent snowballs
- Bring a hoof pick with you if trail riding
- Go for a bareback ride
- Warm up your horse’s bit before using it
- Invest in a good cooler for afterwards
- Offer your horse warm water after each ride
- Consider clipping your horse if you plan to ride a lot
- Always check the weather
- Use reflective gear if riding in the dark
- Get ready for a fresh, energetic horse
- Bring a friend with you
And the Don’ts
- Jump on and go. Your horse needs a nice, long warm up (and cool down).
- Throw a wet horse out into the field. They need to be throughly dried first.
- Ride on icy ground
- Go on a new or unfamiliar trail covered in snow
- Ride on extremely cold days. It can actually damage your horse’s lungs.
- Overwork a fuzzy horse. Their thick hair can cause them to overheat.
Now, who’s ready to saddle up!