It’s certainly no secret that horse riding in the winter can be tough. We’ve put together a few different steps and precautions you can take in order to ensure that your winter riding experience is more enjoyable.
Layering your clothes is probably the most efficient way to ensure that your body heat stays right where it needs to be. Investing in thermal clothing could make a night and day difference for you, as well. There’s no shame in looking a little bulky; layering your clothes is a simple thing that can keep you warm all day long.
2 Dry Feet Are Warm Feet
One of winter’s biggest headaches is even the smallest amount of snow making its way into your shoes, causing your feet to get cold and wet. It can be hard to concentrate on anything when your feet are freezing and numb. Invest in some thick socks; the higher the better.
Thermal riding boots are also an option, and they can entirely transform your winter riding experience. Tall riding boots are generally better than paddock boots for winter riding; the idea is to keep your lower legs and feet completely covered, protected and most important of all...dry.
3 Take Breaks And Warm Up
Many barns have at least one heated room in the building, whether it be the tack room, a sitting room, or even a space heater in the aisle. If you’re planning on spending a good amount of your day at the barn, take some time every now and then to warm up and relax for a moment. You’ll thank yourself later.
4 Ride Safely
Once the ground is covered in snow, it is practically impossible to see what is underneath.
Branches, holes, rocks, and uneven terrain have the potential to cause major injury to both you and your horse. If you have an outdoor arena that has been plowed and cleared off, it’s best to stick to riding there.
Always take extra precaution when riding in the winter and stick to an arena or riding ring; it’s always better to air on the side of caution when the safety of both you and your horse is concerned.
5 Lower The Speed And Duration Of Riding
The amount of riding time a horse can undertake in summer versus winter is hugely different especially when going faster.
Snow and more challenging ground conditions will sap the energy of the horse much quicker, and therefore this must be taken in to consideration when planning your exercise.
Another aspect of horse riding in winter that needs to be taken in to consideration is the amount of sweat that the horse produces. Make sure that after riding you have a blanket on hand to put over your horse to draw away any sweat.
6 Invest In A Good Pair Of Gloves
It can be trying to get through barn chores or riding with frozen, numb hands. To save yourself some misery and to ensure that you will be able to make use of all ten fingers, invest in some insulated gloves.
There are a few different companies who make waterproof, insulated gloves for both men and women who work around horses or livestock. Ditch the cheap, thin gloves you picked up years ago and invest in a good pair that will last you years!
Riding in the winter certainly has its challenges, but with the proper precautions and steps taken, it doesn't have to be a miserable process. Going forward with the information you learned here, you will be able to make some changes and plan ahead for your trips to the barn to ensure that you can enjoy your time with your horse at the barn in the coming winter months.
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