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europa
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:51 AM
Did anyone else about lose their Mini Wheats upon reading the article of riding in winter and doing field dressage with a picture of a guy riding his horse in the snow???? UH HELLO WTF were they thinking......I don't ride in the snow.....you could really injure your horse if you are not really careful not to mention you can't ride without snow shoes on the horse!! Have they just totally lost their minds. And as if you could actually get some quality training in...PULEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ pass the JELLY.

Hilary
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:57 AM
Are you kidding? I ride in the snow all the time. You have to be careful and know what the footing is like, but snow can be fabulous footing.

When you live in a cold climate and you don't have an indoor you hope for about 6" of nice fluffy snow. Not ice, not nasty sticky stuff, or snow with a crust on it. And no, you don't always get a perfect flat school but if you READ the article you'd have seen that he's saying use this time to do things like "perfect your walk/halt transition" and your 10m turns, and your centerlines. Make the best of the limitations.

I do lots of lateral work in the snooty housing development during the winter - nice wide streets with no traffic. Do you think that's stupid too?

TheTetrarch
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:02 AM
Yeah, really.

If your horse is barefoot (and a lot of people pull shoes in winter), snow isn't a problem at all. No snowballs.

Trakehner
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:04 AM
Riding on ice...bad (without the right shoes with studs).

Riding in snow...can be a lot of fun. I was a kid with ponies in Northern Michigan...we towed sleds and skiers and basically had a ball during winter (most of it bareback...lots warmer that way).

Crusty snow...not good, too big a chance to cut your horse, ice underneath? Not good....old fashioned white fluff that's poor for snowballs, the best!

caffeinated
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:08 AM
I love riding in the snow.

It's good exercise for them too. It depends on shoeing and the type of snow :)

europa
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:08 AM
Where I am the snowballs in the horses feet are treacherous ...totally out of the question to ride in at all unless you want a suspensory injury.

lcw579
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:10 AM
You should try it - you might like it! Some of my happiest times as a kid were playing in the snow with the pony.

Last year we had a blast trotting around the fields in the snow too. One horse liked to put his nose down and let the snow flick up into his face, it was odd but rather endearing.

Timex
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:10 AM
If you know your footing, and you've got that nice white fluffy stuff? Riding in the snow is fun! And quite honestly, there are a lot of us that simply don't have the option. Either you ride in the snow or you don't ride till spring. Unless you're volunteering to pay to put up an indoor at our farm?? Just because *you* don't do it, means its bad, or detrimental to the horse.

zahena
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:14 AM
I think that Jim Wofford did make a few mentions as to how to ride safely in the snow.

Hunter/JumperMom
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:16 AM
It's been a while since I had a "fun" horse, but if I am remembering correctly, come this time of year, we always had snow shoes with pads so we wouldn't get snowballs??

Ibex
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:16 AM
I've usually only seen people who don't get much snow freak out about riding in it... :lol:

Yeah, if it's wet, sticky or icy, I wouldn't. But nice fluffy stuff on a suitable shod horse??? Tons of fun! Spraying PAM helps limit snowballs.

caffeinated
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:17 AM
WHEEEEEEEEE!!! (http://carrotplease.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/yoda-card-pix-snowhill.jpg)

TheTetrarch
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:19 AM
The really fluffy stuff is the most fun. If you have wet sticky snow I think it's best to have shoes with pads or shoeless. The snowballs can get really large even with just turnout.

findeight
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:20 AM
Well...as long as you know what is under the snow? See nothing wrong with it.

I don't know how much serious work-as in competition level and quality excercises-you are going to be able to get done. And I sure as heck would not jump anything serious without knowing exactly what you are landing on or in under that soft and fluffy coating that covers everything like a duvet.

But you work with what you got. If that's what you got? That's what you keep them legged up and doing something in. Unless you go to Florida or lay them off for the season.

Those that live around where I do are out of luck-it is churned up mud full of peaks and valleys frozen solid hidden under that blanket of nice, fluffy snow. Ankle twisting, hoof bruising nightmare, keeps the vets busy.

europa
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:20 AM
I rode in it a couple of times as a kid but the snowballs were horrible. Of course I am in the South so we don't get the fluffy large snowfalls.....maybe I need to make a trip up north to try it the way you guys sound!!

Does Pam work really? I don't pull my horses shoes.

Tiki
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:23 AM
Snowshoes with pads or barefoot. I used to LOVE riding in the snow. If it were deep enough, it was a great place to take out a really fresh horse. It's kind of hard to really buck in deepish snow, but they could, and did, work off all their energy. Man, could you get some beautiful elevated movement in the snow. It also created a really good buffer for the ground if it were deep enough and when it was, we used to go over to the Ponkapoag Golf Course and do long, long gallops across the fairways. We weren't allowed NEAR the golf course without a good cover of snow. The horses just LOVED it when we took them out.

My mares at home gallop and buck through the snow all the time out in their pasture. I don't know why you think it's sooooooo dangerous. Lots of people don't have indoors and ride in the snow all winter - as long as it's not toooo deep.

ThirdCharm
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:25 AM
I was gonna say, if your location is really "NASCAR HELL" (that's where I am too!), you don't KNOW what snow is..... heheh.

When I lived in Maine I rode in the snow all the time. With shoes with borium no pads. Snowballs aren't a problem unless you actually get OUT of the snow, really. Which didn't happen until we got back in a stall!

Would you not turn out in the snow, either?

Jennifer

meupatdoes
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:26 AM
Yeah, I completely ruined my then-3yo Oldenburg's career with my incessant trailriding through the snowy woods at dawn last winter:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0204090735.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0204090715.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0205090709.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0205090712.jpg



Orrrrr...maybe it's time for someone to get out of the indoor arena for once.
Join us -I even have an extra horse.

sisu27
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:26 AM
I have ridden outside in the winter my entire life.....never had an injury to my horses (snow related).

Like others have said, if you are smart enough to tell if it is a good base, are travelling on known footing and adjust your riding accordingly....no problem.

Last winter we had terrible footing problems in our indoor (have left that place) and we rode out all winter. Did our work in the forest. We had maybe 5 days out of the entire winter where conditions forced us into the arena. Some horses were barefoot, some had shoes (little ice studs and snow pads) and all did just fine.

findeight
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:30 AM
Yes, PAM works to keep the snow from balling up.

But not for long and only with the nice dry, fluffy variety of snow. Nasty, icy stuff you are out of luck.

Snowshoes also offer sole protection against bruising from ice chunks, stones or whatever else may be hidden underneath and really are a better way to go.

c.harrison1
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:38 AM
meupatdoes- that looks like so much fun! where i am we get sleet and frozen mud!

MintHillFarm
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:39 AM
I love riding in the snow.

It's good exercise for them too. It depends on shoeing and the type of snow :)

We used to hack the field hunters in the snowy fields in North Salem, NY. Loved it, the footing was great and the horses seemed to enjoy it too. We would also ride on the snow covered dirt roads, personally my favorite place to ride in the winter...
Unfortunately where I am in upstate NY, it is much more of a risk for ice under the snow, so no outdoor winter riding at my farm...

lcw579
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:39 AM
Anybody else remember rubbing gobs of vaseline into their pony's hooves and then trying desperately to get enough of it off so you could get your gloves back on comfortably?

So, Pam works better? The boys have pads and studs on so I haven't had to use anything.

fivehorses
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:41 AM
Honest to Pete, I will try and be nice.
Riding in white fluffy snow is the best childhood memory I have.
Growing up in Syracuse, we would get wonderful lake effect snow and ride the horses bareback and without shoes and the snow would be up to their bellies. Sure, they would expend effort to move through it, but it wasn't for long.

Agree with other posters. you must know your undersurface, snow can hide depressions or streams, etc. No riding on ice...ever.

Sorry to make you choke on your mini wheaties, try to live outside your own world, even if it is vicariously...

asterix
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:48 AM
to be fair, if the OP mostly gets wet heavy snow, I could see why she would think this is "Ridiculous" -- although perhaps a bit of an extreme reaction there.

Here in MidAtlantic we often get the icky snow that clumps terribly (and isn't very deep, so they end up walking around on snowballs, ick!). The big storm we got just before Christmas was "proper" snow like they get more often in other parts of the country -- almost 2 feet of fluffy stuff.

Riding in that was AWESOME -- horses loved it and had absolutely no trouble with it.

DMK
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:01 AM
to be fair, if the OP mostly gets wet heavy snow, I could see why she would think this is "Ridiculous" -- although perhaps a bit of an extreme reaction there.

True Dat, but it WAS a moment that called for a little bit of higher cognitive thinking. What DID people DO before autos, indoors and the like? Curl up and die all winter? Or was it just possible that maybe horses could be ridden in the snow? :D

Trakehner
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:04 AM
It all comes down to the snow:

If the snow makes great snowballs, it sucks for riding. Nothing but balls of snow & ice in their feet.

If you couldn't make a snowball out of the white stuff, it's great for riding.

europa
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:10 AM
WOW just WOW ...evidently my higher level thinking skills need honing. GEESH.....let me just say that the snowshoes are not an option because we DON'T GET ENOUGH SNOW and yes I have ridden in the snow as a kid also but the snowballs were horrendous. I am evidentally a total BUFFOON because I didn't have all the "LIFE" experiences that you all have....however I still think the article didn't really address how to make sure that it really is safe....at least me and my miniscule little brain didn't get it. I am soo glad that now I know which type of snow I can ride in.

Some of you guys need to go back to charm school is all I can say.

Where I am at it is NOT a good idea. PERIOD

VarsityHero4
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:12 AM
If you think it's so ridiculous to ride in the snow do you not turn your horses out until snow melts? Do they ever go outside? If it was done on my naughty pony when I was a kid, my horses do it. I train them to be extremely kid-friendly and solid citizens. Besides, there's nothing better that wakes up my lazy WB than fresh snow. It usually ends up being him galloping for a little bit while I'm just a passenger. Then he usually settles in when the snow is no longer perfect looking and has his foot prints everywhere. I also love a nice sunny morning with fresh powder on the ground and going for a long trail ride, even my princess mare loves it because she doesn't have to get her feet muddy :-) Better than skiing!

On another note, I actually REALLY enjoyed that article. I use my footprints to see what my circles look like but I never thought about it with that walking in a straight line exercise. I tried it and LOVED it, each line got straighter and straighter.

Brigit
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:26 AM
I love going out for a ride in the snow when it's not too cold! We pull our horse's shoes in the winter so snowballing isn't too much of an issue. It's so fun to go for a good canter out in the hayfield when it's covered in snow.

As for injuries, the only injury I've dealt with in the winter (knock on wood) was when my mare was goofing off in her paddock last year and fell. I think the packed down icy stuff is worse than the nice fluffy stuff out in the fields.

Rockfish
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:29 AM
I love riding in the snow! I usually stick to the walk and trot though, depending on depth and powderyness. It can be a great workout.

Ghazzu
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:36 AM
Not only do I ride in it, I find i to be a greatly underutilized training aid...

findeight
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:37 AM
...UH HELLO WTF were they thinking...I don't ride in the snow...not to mention you can't ride without snow shoes on the horse!! Have they just totally lost their minds. And as if you could actually get some quality training in..


Who needs to go to charm school?

Phrase a post to gain information like "how can you get anything serious done riding in the snow" or "What do you guys up north do without an indoor?" or even "Do you really need snowshows to ride in snow?".

When you pronouce judgement based on what you do and call people, basically, idiots who don't live where you live and do differently? You have to expect some backlash.

jawa
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:37 AM
Has anyone ever wrapped their horses hooves with duct tape and padding(as if abscessed? I did that with mine. If you stuck to the fields it worked great. If you go across roads that have been cleared or that have a light covering of snow, the duct tape wears out quickly.

Also from my younger years, if you went fast enough the snow balls would get thrown out before they got big enough. It was an incentive to be near the front of the group riding, or you'd have a "snow ball" coming flying back at you!!

Lots of fun riding in the snow, but central VA doesn't get it often enough to put snow pads on.

Lisa Cook
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:38 AM
A great way to keep event horses fit through the winter :):

fun in the snow (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30060874&l=eb09e9999a&id=1114381130)

wendy
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:39 AM
oh come on. I used to live much further north, and many horses live outside in the snow all winter and manage to survive, and we ride in the snow all the time. Snow is much better to ride in than mud or rock-hard frozen mud or rock-hard frozen arena footing. Snowballs aren't really a problem- if you don't want to put on snow pads, put on hoof-boots, or pull the shoes, or just break into a trot every few minutes to toss the snow-balls out. If the snow is deep enough you won't notice snow-balls until you step from snow onto plowed/shoveled surface. Very much remember the time up in the frozen far north neighboring country after a long trail ride in snow we trotted merrily onto a plowed bridge and all the horses went spinning and sliding around on snow-balls we hadn't even noticed.
You can even safely ride on ice if you put on hoof-boots equipped with ice-studs.

findeight
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:03 AM
You can even safely ride on ice if you put on hoof-boots equipped with ice-studs.

They race on ice in Russia. But it is a groomed surface. That is one surface you really need to be respectful of, studs or not, particularly if you are crossways on even a gradual slope.

Most of us mean churned mud full of holes that is frozen solid then snow covered. Freezes and thaws daily getting more churned. Traps and twists the legs, studs won't help that.

BAC
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:06 AM
Under the right conditions and with appropriate shoeing, riding in the snow is great fun, in fact I think horses enjoy it as much as their riders. :yes: When I learned to ride as a kid most barns did not have indoors and we rode frequently in the snow.

pony grandma
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:47 AM
If it were deep enough, it was a great place to take out a really fresh horse. It's kind of hard to really buck in deepish snow, but they could, and did, work off all their energy. Man, could you get some beautiful elevated movement in the snow.

Nice deep fresh snow = passage!! :D It was my first real feel for it.


Not only do I ride in it, I find i to be a greatly underutilized training aid...

HenryisBlaisin'
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:37 PM
I live in central NC (and work in NASCAR, BTW, and can assure you that it's not hell!) but moved here from central NH-this is my first winter with a shod horse not having boriums and snow pads. A correctly shod and padded horse, or one that is barefoot altogether, should have no problem riding in the snow-we had no indoor, so if you wanted to ride, you learned to deal with snow! It's actually good for a horse's fitness as the snow adds resistance but not impact. You have to know what's under the snow-no bushwhacking through strange fields or trails! The PH article was, IMO, well written and made sense-we can't all have great weather all year!

But OP is correct in that the snow we generaly get here is heavy and wet, and we don't shoe for it-boriums would be downright dangerous on the hard dry ground with no snow or ice at all! Luckily most snowfalls are minimal and melt in 48 hours or so, but I don't like my horse turned out in it, because he's not prepared for it, and he doesn't do wel barefoot, so that's out.

But the article wasn't ridiculous orout of place at all-many riders ride in the snow, because they are prepared for it and know how to do it safely. Saying they shouldn'tprint it is like a dressage rider saying they shouldn't print jumping articles because they personally don't do that!

ClassAction
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:39 PM
Nothing like a good gallop up a field in deep, fresh powder! The connemara mare I was on had a blast and it was the only thing I found that tuckered her out!

sptraining
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:41 PM
God I'm glad I live in California. =D

MIKES MCS
Jan. 4, 2010, 12:53 PM
I grew up riding the Nassau / Suffolk Trail system on Long Island .. IN the dead of winter with our JUMPERS, how else were we going to keep them in shape for the Indoors at Jericho School.. NOW, do I find riding the trails in a blizzard fun at 50+ HECK NO Not even with a heated snow suit! but dang if I'm going to tell a kid it's Crazy, just the opposite, on Sunny 20 degree days I'd kick their butts outside and tell them to at least go take a walk with there horses after they school in the indoor .. and Yes to someone who mentioned .. we used to use a TON of Vaseline . and Europa , where you are might not be a good idea, but there are plenty who are in areas who take advantage of the winter with there horses and they aren't crazy.

MintHillFarm
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:24 PM
A great way to keep event horses fit through the winter :):

fun in the snow (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30060874&l=eb09e9999a&id=1114381130)

Lisa,
Loved all the photos...what a great horse!

dghunter
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:27 PM
I rode in the snow for the first time the other day. It was a blast! After 20 years of living here I've finally gotten used to the cold and will venture outside for longer than one minute :lol: I love the snow, I think it's so pretty. And my guy thinks snow is the greatest thing ever :yes: He'll roll and roll and roll in it until the cows come home. He has snow pads but I was still a little nervous so we just mostly walked but it's a lot of fun.

AnotherRound
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:33 PM
We used to make jumps out of the snow - lay a dark split rail on top. Lots of bucks and farts, it was good fun plowing through deep powder.

Gry2Yng
Jan. 4, 2010, 01:40 PM
Yeah, I completely ruined my then-3yo Oldenburg's career with my incessant trailriding through the snowy woods at dawn last winter:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0204090735.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0204090715.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0205090709.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0205090712.jpg



Orrrrr...maybe it's time for someone to get out of the indoor arena for once.
Join us -I even have an extra horse.


I am SO jealous. My favorite thing to do on New Year's Day is hack in the snow. Seems like a "fresh start" to the year for me. This year it was 3 degrees before they factored the wind chill. I was very sad not to hack out and very glad for my heated indoor. :D

It is also fun to jump snow drifts. Galloping thru them is fun too.

dauntless
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:19 PM
Where I am the snowballs in the horses feet are treacherous ...totally out of the question to ride in at all unless you want a suspensory injury.

Barefoot or snowpads and corks solves this :)

Hunter Mom
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:27 PM
Barefoot or snowpads and corks solves this :)

Tomorrow is supposed to be close to 20, so I'm taking DD out for her first snow ride! Yeah! Used ot do it all the time as a kid - never had a problem. Bundle up & enjoy!

imapepper
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:47 PM
Yeah, I completely ruined my then-3yo Oldenburg's career with my incessant trailriding through the snowy woods at dawn last winter:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0204090735.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0204090715.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0205090709.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/meupatdoes/Trail/0205090712.jpg



Orrrrr...maybe it's time for someone to get out of the indoor arena for once.
Join us -I even have an extra horse.

Your pictures made me homesick :) I rode in the snow on trails all winter and LOVED it!!! The best was when there was a fresh new coat of snow on a familiar field. I loved long trail rides in the winter. It gave me an excuse to pack hot chocolate in my pack. Nothing better. If I could get my heat loving husband to move, I would be way further north in a half a second. I don't like heat and I don't like mud.....so I am HATING TX right about now :lol:

ccoronios
Jan. 4, 2010, 02:58 PM
Oh, MikesMcs - What wonderful memories. And indeed - how else to stay in shape for Jericho's "X-rated Jumper Shows" on Friday evenings???!!!

One of my most favorite rides EVER was on my jumper - the Wednesday after a Thomas' show - snowing in a.m., but truck had already picked up horse, so to the show we went - continued all day, most horses (and many humans) stayed overnight at THS. Horse got home late Monday, if I recall. I finally got to the barn on Wed - and went out for the ride of our lives! Over downed trees, across fields, and a HUMONGOUS bank, created by the town snowtrucks dumping the plowed snow.

What freedom and beauty. And others are so correct - you could use the snow the way skaters use fresh ice to see exactly how straight or how round - or if you were indeed getting a correct shoulder-in - or whatever.

Funny some have mentioned borium. Joey Darby judged a show when I was in SC - all the kids in the Open Eq class were asked a question - and one by one, had very puzzled looks on their faces and shook their heads. As they came out of the ring, all us trainers were lined up at the gate, asking "What did he ask you that NO ONE knew?" Still puzzled, my first girl said "He asked 'What is boyum?' " Boyum??? I've never heard of Boyum. Did he tell you the answer, since no one knew? "Yes. He said it was something you put on horses' feet in the winter." OH!!!! BORIUM. And he thought a bunch of kids in SC would know this - why????? Love Joey - wondered what he was thinking....

Ah well.... riding in the snow... puts a smile on my face...

C

forestergirl99
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:09 PM
I had the same thought. lol. Seems pretty dangerous. Plus the snow builds up in their feet. I do like riding in snow, but just light riding.

quietann
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:11 PM
I rode in the snow for the first time the other day. It was a blast! After 20 years of living here I've finally gotten used to the cold and will venture outside for longer than one minute :lol: I love the snow, I think it's so pretty. And my guy thinks snow is the greatest thing ever :yes: He'll roll and roll and roll in it until the cows come home. He has snow pads but I was still a little nervous so we just mostly walked but it's a lot of fun.

I just rode maresy for the first time in the snow last week. Snow in question was freshly fallen and light, and there was about 6 inches of it, with frozen ground (no ice) underneath. She is barefoot behind and shod with borium and pads in front, but still got snowballs in front (I tried PAM spray and that made it worse IMHO.) I was careful (I'm a fairly timid rider, and she can get excited) and we just walked around for a few minutes... She LOVED it! She was a bit looky, but not spooky, and was better in the indoor when we went on to school in there than she has been in a while.

I think it's a nice break from the indoor, if you have one, provided you know the footing and are careful.

Tiki
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:23 PM
Geez, whoever knew - riding in the snow is extremely dangerous.

Ummmm, ahhhhh, errrrrrrr, anyone ever heard of sleigh rides??? Hmmmm, aren't the horses out trotting on snow pulling the sleigh???

And really, do you all not ever turn your horses out on snow?

BTW, for snowballs in the hooves, we used a fist sized rock to tap the edge of the hoof by the shoe to knock out the snowballs. When I had my own horse I had snowball pads put in.

Kareen
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:23 PM
We've just had more snow here than in several years together and aside of all the waterpipe-watching (read: Bucket-watering...) we love it.
Agree with the poster who said snow was an underrated training aid. It's lovely. Even great to rehab horses! Almost like a free water-trainer. Of course you don't go on iced surfaces but even the slippery aspect has its benefits. Tells the overpretected sporthorse to mind their feet...
No fun if all you get is snow-mud. Luckily this year we have wonderful snow thus far. Half a meter of it which is really a lot for flat Northern German measures *lol*
The horses all love it. I ride out year round and if you have to haul to an indoor which is bound to be crowded during the winter months with vaulting, lessons and all other kinds of equestrian activity there aren't many choices and I often find working out during the winter prevents me from getting depressive over the short-day months. Am a big believer in riding horses out as often as possible anyways. More stimuli, more to keep the brain busy. My horses certainly freak out a lot less during their first outings because they've had a lot of outdoor exposure from very early on. They all learn about traffic, wildlife jumping out of bushes ahead, next to or behind them and knockonwood our soundness level has been very high here over the years.

DMK
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:24 PM
And he thought a bunch of kids in SC would know this - why????? Love Joey - wondered what he was thinking....

LOL, well he was probably thinking that most of the people who regularly hunt down in these here mostly snow-free parts use borium (boyum ... heh heh), so while I grant you a bunch of hp kids might not know about such things, it's not because it isn't used down here! ;)

ThatScaryChick
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:29 PM
Riding in the snow can be lots of fun. Yes, one should be sure the footing is safe. But, I don't see anything wrong with that article.

Linny
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:33 PM
I used to ride at a barn where we jumped out in the snow. I'm too old for that stuff now, but riding out in snow used to be fun.

EquitationRider
Jan. 4, 2010, 03:46 PM
When winter rolls around i am always excited about bareback trail rides in perfect white powder!! if it is the right kind of snow and not icey than why not?

Besides there isnt a big difference in turning a horse out in the snow and riding in it!

SEPowell
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:01 PM
We foxhunt in the snow and in January the foxes travel all over the place so it ends up being a day of galloping and jumping. It's so much fun!

mademoiselle
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:04 PM
You should go and tell these riders that they should not do that :lol::lol::lol:
http://www.stmoritz-concours.ch/72.0.html


or even those :
http://www.polostmoritz.com/

or even worse :

http://www.stmoritz.ch/winter/news-events/events/top-events.html

Crazy European riders :D:D:D

gmv567
Jan. 4, 2010, 04:23 PM
Above: OMG THAT IS SO SO SO COOL! I AM SO JEALOUS!

Anyway... I am off to go hack my barefoot mare in the snow. Nothing crazy for us. Just the safe front yard where I know the footing is some medium length grass topped with a lovely layer of 6"-8" of white stuff. I am pretty sure that it snowed enough last night to cover my tracks from the last time I rode. I wonder what would happen if I put some cavaletti on top of the snow? Would that work? I'll have to experiment. But first I have to strip and rebed two stalls. I need to get off the computer and get out there before I run out of daylight.

Kestrel
Jan. 5, 2010, 11:07 PM
Riding in the snow is on my life list. The snow we get here is usually the consistency of mashed potatos and is quick to melt into mud.

Hey, I'm going to Colorado in March - anyone know where I could find a horse to hack out on in the Aspen area?

Mozart
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:53 AM
I have done lots of riding in the snow but if you plan to do anything other than walk you do have to REALLY know what is underneath it. Several years ago I was lessoning in my back field in an area that eventually became my riding ring. The ground was flat and seemingly well drained. Our ground usually freezes rock hard and is then covered by snow which is normally acceptable footing.

Horse kept slipping in one area. Coach walked over, brushed away the snow with her foot and discovered an area of smooth, skating rink worthy ice. There was a very minimal depression in that area and it had iced over. Could have had a nasty incident.

So yes you can ride in the snow but if you plan to actually school in it you have to really know your surface.

KellyS
Jan. 6, 2010, 11:31 AM
We...gasp...sleigh in the snow! :D And managed just fine with regular shoes last month. Pony got snow pads this morning. :)

I've always looked at snow as a bonus...perfect way to condition and keep a horse in shape without having to spend a lot of time in the saddle.

Picture of us torturing our poor pony in the snow (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=899771&l=c980d42d99&id=1059684218)

Silk
Jan. 6, 2010, 05:06 PM
Where I am the snowballs in the horses feet are treacherous ...totally out of the question to ride in at all unless you want a suspensory injury.

Uhhh...they make special pads for that;)

Do you not tun out in the snow either?

Jeff Wolf
Jan. 6, 2010, 05:32 PM
Riding in the snow is one of those things that horse ownership dreams are made of....making tracks where no one has gone, the stillness, the horse sticking their nose in it and plowing along...

Oh, yeah...:)

fooler
Jan. 6, 2010, 06:09 PM
In the South we experience very little snow fall and what falls is normally
very wet, often mixed with sleet so very icy. Very different from the fluffy snow I have seen (CO, CT, NH and OH) and rode in NH.

It is a big snowball problem even with using vaseline. My old instructor was from PA and showed us how to use it but probably because there was <5 inches of snow we were still digging out snowballs.

Also we normally receive <6 inches at a time - often 1-3 inches. The major storms of close to 12 inches are very rare, every 20 years or so.
The normal 'snow storm' usually melts in a day or 2 and the 'major snow' melts within a week or less. So no problem keeping the ponies up or in limited turnout until the snow melts.

It was fun watching my Southern bred TB mare enjoy playing in the snow when we lived in NH!:D Not to mention riding in the snowy fields. Loads of fun!

LookinSouth
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:32 PM
Well my 18 year old gelding has been worked consistently in the snow all winter for the past 5 years. Not a soundness issue so far. In fact, he tends to have more trouble with rock hard dry summer ground than soft, fluffy, snow. He's shod with tiny ice studs and full snow pads and we're good to go.
We've foxhunted in the snow
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2197880710101555132vfcZel

galloped on familiar trails http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2443005830101555132iMubIG whilst ducking the pine branches,
and just have alot of great fun while out trail riding in the snow http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2733479360101555132IUGRyn

It's by far my favorite aspect of winter :)
I hope and pray for a nice 6-10 inch cover of the nice fluffy stuff for the entire winter long. We have a nice indoor at our barn but I would much prefer to be out riding in the snow covered fields and trails. The absolute best is riding on fresh snowmobile tracks. :yes: Perfect footing!

LookinSouth
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:09 PM
A great way to keep event horses fit through the winter :):

fun in the snow (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30060874&l=eb09e9999a&id=1114381130)


Awesome! :D

ex-racer owner
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:41 PM
Loved everyone's winter fun- I mean danger- photos!

Yes, some of us have no choice but to ride in the snow. Usually, we try to make the best of it. I noticed myself actually being more "daring" when riding in the snow. No, I don't mean doing foolish, dangerous things, just stuff I wouldn't normally do. For some reason, it makes me break free of some of the ruts I get into. Our outdoor is really kind of questionable in the type of weather we have had lately, so riding through the hayfields and harvested cornfields is actually the better choice. It is also pretty neat, I think, to be able to see all the wildlife tracks which are so visible in the snow. I also think its funny to see where the horses went in their individual turnouts after it snowed the night before. You are able to "see" things that you wouldn't otherwise get to see or be aware of.

I do think that it is wonderful conditioning for the horses, as long as one is sensible about their horse's limitations and the footing. No, you probably aren't going to be able to advance your horse's competitive training, unless maybe working on straightness issues that you can see in the snow, but you can have a great time and at least maintain some level of physical fitness during the long winter months. If you want to work on your physical fitness, take them for a handwalk out in the snow! :D Get out there and enjoy your horses!!!

superpony123
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:56 PM
Well my 18 year old gelding has been worked consistently in the snow all winter for the past 5 years. Not a soundness issue so far. In fact, he tends to have more trouble with rock hard dry summer ground than soft, fluffy, snow. He's shod with tiny ice studs and full snow pads and we're good to go.
We've foxhunted in the snow
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2197880710101555132vfcZel

galloped on familiar trails http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2443005830101555132iMubIG whilst ducking the pine branches,
and just have alot of great fun while out trail riding in the snow http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2733479360101555132IUGRyn

It's by far my favorite aspect of winter :)
I hope and pray for a nice 6-10 inch cover of the nice fluffy stuff for the entire winter long. We have a nice indoor at our barn but I would much prefer to be out riding in the snow covered fields and trails. The absolute best is riding on fresh snowmobile tracks. :yes: Perfect footing!

hey, hope this doesnt sound creepy or anything, but in those pics (particularly the fox hunt one) is that trail in bedminster, NJ? it just looks EXACTLY like part of one of my favorite trails, and i have often run into fox hunters on that trail. (granted, i suppose there are thousands of pieces of land that look exactly like that picture):)

maudie
Jan. 7, 2010, 01:35 AM
... I must be terrible then, we used to suit up and gallop our ponies around in out snow covered outdoor. My friends rode bareback and emergency dismounted into snowbanks.... good times, good times!

lauriep
Jan. 7, 2010, 05:56 AM
Where I am the snowballs in the horses feet are treacherous ...totally out of the question to ride in at all unless you want a suspensory injury.
As long as you stay IN the snow and not on hard or cleared surfaces, you are fine. Pick their feet out before going into barn!

LookinSouth
Jan. 7, 2010, 06:27 AM
hey, hope this doesnt sound creepy or anything, but in those pics (particularly the fox hunt one) is that trail in bedminster, NJ? it just looks EXACTLY like part of one of my favorite trails, and i have often run into fox hunters on that trail. (granted, i suppose there are thousands of pieces of land that look exactly like that picture):)


lol. No not creepy, I know snow covered fields/trails can look very similar sometimes. The hunt was in Wrentham, MA, the other pics were taken in Hampton, CT. Unfortunately none are from NJ :)

mortebella
Jan. 7, 2010, 08:08 AM
...that horses evolved in cold climates - cold like in frozen. Remember that? They are much more cold weather creatures than hot. Wonder who was around with the borium and the pads and PAM before man caught up with them? And when we first caught up with them, it was a while before we figured out they were good for more than a good meal. :lol: And you've got to figure all the wild horses weren't just sedately keeping it to a walk in those frozen lands, either; they were fleeing from predators and playing and "horsing around," too. It would be a salient point that they weren't carrying riders.

I'm not arguing against caution in winter riding; I wouldn't argue against caution over mud, rocks, baked dry hard-as-concrete dirt, etc. I just think it stands to reason that climate conditions horses evolved in are not their natural enemies. I always have a concern about footing, but frankly I worry more about what we ask them to do often when the heat index starts to climb to 100+. I have heard news reports in my area of horses dropping dead at shows of heat stroke. :no:

lauriep
Jan. 7, 2010, 08:26 AM
OP, you need to change the title of your thread as PH did NOT write a ridiculous article, and certainly don't deserve the negative publicity your title gives. They are being superb sponsors of the GM clinic AGAIN this year.

Tiki
Jan. 7, 2010, 08:34 AM
Wonder who was around with the borium and the pads and PAM before man caught up with them? They didn't need them. Horses that are not shod do not collect snow in their feet! and the elasticity of the frog helps to give them traction, although not as much as a mountain goat's pads do. :lol:

AnotherRound
Jan. 7, 2010, 08:41 AM
OP, you need to change the title of your thread as PH did NOT write a ridiculous article, and certainly don't deserve the negative publicity your title gives. They are being superb sponsors of the GM clinic AGAIN this year.

I did pm the OP and ask her to do that, I was nice and hopefully she will agree that PH does not deserve that kind of bad publicity. I am sure she is entitled to her opinion, however it isn't responsible to call out a respected business and accuse them of irresponsible journalism when it isn't true. I think with care and consideration for the horses with shoes, and for when they transition to different surfaces with a rider on their back, being out in the snow is fantastic for them. After all, as LauriP pointed out, horses evolved during the ice age, and are genetically adapted for frozen conditions!! We just have to be careful when we put shoes on them that ice balls don't develop, but that just takes an alert mom to attend to her horse kids! I wish I had a horse now of my own, because there is so much snow, it would be great fun to ride out in it!!

edited to add: rediculous with an "e"!

"rediculosus!!"

alteringwego
Jan. 7, 2010, 09:52 AM
I am envious of the pictures! The snow we get in the south is wet, icy snow and is definitely not suitable for riding. It's all about the footing.

LivviesMom
Jan. 7, 2010, 10:27 AM
I used to hack a small pony in the snow. Snow was up to her knees but she absolutely loved it! She hated indoor work, so it was a happy medium.

I think its great for conditiong as well.

Mtn trails
Jan. 7, 2010, 05:21 PM
I love riding in the snow but unfortunately, all we get is "Cascade Concrete" which is incredibly wet, sloppy snow. However, if you don't have a barefoot horse but still want to enjoy the snow without the risk of snowballs, coat the soles of their feet with petroleum jelly. Works better than Pam and lasts for at least an hour or more. I rode out for a long ride a few years ago in the snow and had not one snowball. So, there you are. I love riding in the snow. Last winter we had 3 feet at our house (unusual year) and hopped on my mustang girl bareback to ride her in from the pasture. Great fun!

sweetpea
Jan. 7, 2010, 07:28 PM
To bad OP has not had the chance to try it!!

7HL
Jan. 8, 2010, 04:52 PM
We have had the nice fluffy this year. Our horses love it. The whole herd love to play in the snow. Riding in the snow is great.

Lucy & Tristan
Jan. 10, 2010, 10:59 AM
7HL - I love your pics!

I'm also a fan of riding in the snow but I thought I'd share something my farrier did the other day which, in 20 odd years, I'd never seen before. We have some snow up here in Southern Ontario but we got rain a few weeks ago so there are some (seriously irritating) icy bits under the snow. My darling princess decided that she HATES the ice and basically stood in one spot outside and refused to move. So, the farrier came out and we put in big pointy caulks at the back of her shoes but he also put draft shoe nails in the nail holes all around the front so she basically has cleats! It's great!

AllyandPete
Jan. 10, 2010, 11:19 AM
I remember the first time I trotted in the snow...we had gotten a bucket load and I almost fell off because my horse had to lift his legs up so high to get through it hahaha...luckily it would have been a soft landing. :) I love riding in snow as long as its not hiding ice under it..it's all about being safe and thinking ahead!

halla
Jan. 10, 2010, 08:50 PM
I rode in it a couple of times as a kid but the snowballs were horrible. Of course I am in the South so we don't get the fluffy large snowfalls.....maybe I need to make a trip up north to try it the way you guys sound!!

Does Pam work really? I don't pull my horses shoes.


You could get off the horse and pick their feet, you know. That's what I do if snow pads aren't on yet.

Like everyone else said, this seems like a pretty extreme overreaction. While snow may be unusual where you are, it's not like it's some crazy rare weather phenomenon elsewhere. Do you also think it's OMG Dangerous! Insane! that people drive cars when it snows other places just because it doesn't snow much where you are? Your experiences are not everyone's experiences.

Tif_Ann
Jan. 10, 2010, 08:55 PM
LOL I know a bunch have answered, but I find the idea that snow is treacherous funny. Should come watch our herds at the stables run and play in the snow. And very few wear their shoes in the winter here, and none at our stables (about 50) have winter shoes that I know of.

Bonus of riding IN the snow - it's great for building up endurance, muscles, and stamina. Just like humans walking in the snow ... makes you work harder. Yeah, you gotta know what's under the snow, and how icey it is, but ... snow is FUN!

spaceagejuliet
Jan. 11, 2010, 11:28 AM
Has anyone tried boots in the snow?
My guys are barefoot, so I dont really get snowballs in there, but figured I'd kick it out there.

eqsiu
Jan. 11, 2010, 01:52 PM
boriums would be downright dangerous on the hard dry ground with no snow or ice at all!

How do you figure that? What we always got for hunting were only 1/4" tall. They just added a rough surface for traction on the roads (plain ol' asphalt) and rocks.

feetofclay1678
Jan. 11, 2010, 05:13 PM
ive been riding all winter in the snow so far...dont have an indoor where im at. had about one of our best rides ever yesterday. My guy is definitely more careful when under tack in the snow and really balances himself well, although i only really work him when the snow is dry, otherwise its a little slick. its really very enjoyable with everything so white and crisp outside, we are both loving it so far. now if only it weren't so cold...