View Full Version : Outdoor arenas in the winter

Dec. 19, 2010, 09:47 AM
So this is my first winter with the farm. I'll freely admit that until this point in my life, I've been tremendously spoiled. I've always boarded with an indoor. But that isn't an option this year.

Fortunately, my farm came with a pretty decent outdoor arena. Until now, it will be frozen in the morning, but pretty OK by the evening for riding, so frozen ground isn't an issue. But now that we've had a little snow, I don't know what to do.

Do those of you without indoors ride on the snow? Scrape snow off? Drag the arena? Wait until it melts?

Any ideas are welcome!

Dec. 19, 2010, 12:53 PM
You could also not ride in the arena, but outside, trails, roads, fields ...:yes:
That is what we do.:)

Dec. 19, 2010, 12:57 PM
What Bluey said- we did a lot of riding on the trails and back roads around (also in the fields, where there wasn't ice). We also plowed the arena so we could use it, but sometimes this encourages melting and then ice formation under the snow, so be careful if you choose to do this.

Dec. 19, 2010, 06:17 PM
We are able to ride in the snow for only a couple of days. Then when the horses stomp down the snow, it becomes ice. Then we don't ride in the ring.

At my old barn they cleared the snow and spread magnesium chloride to melt any remaining snow/ice. Well, they did that the first few snows but then it got too cold and none us wanted to ride anyway, so they left the snow and we took some time off.

Dec. 20, 2010, 09:32 AM
I wish I had trails - and daylight to ride on them. Sadly, except for the weekends, I ride in the evenings. And while I do ride in my pastures, they are sloped, and with the snow, can get slick for riding.

I did drag my arena with the chain harrow on Saturday, which mixed the top layer of footing (bluestone) with snow, and then a good deal of it melted yesterday. It was a little frozen underneath, but definitely rideable for light work, so that will help for this week until we get more snow. Maybe I'll try to find a nearby indoor that will let me trailer in...

Dec. 20, 2010, 11:08 AM
In the Eventing forum, there is a thread "thawing out frozen arenas" that has some pretty useful info.

Almost Heaven
Dec. 20, 2010, 10:27 PM
Salt and drag - ad infinitum. Sometimes requires shoveling.

Dec. 21, 2010, 09:20 AM
I'm sure it depends on where you live. Here in NY my outdoor is frozen solid as a rock, and we have hardly any snow....it's about 20F right now, after an overnight low of about 15F. So I'm not riding at all because even the thought of falling onto the rutted concrete that the ground has become is too scary. :)

Once we get a little snow, I'll probably ride a little, but basically I hunker down and wait for spring. :) Or look for an indoor. :yes:

Dec. 21, 2010, 11:09 AM
Drag before the weather hits so it's even. Then drag after the weather. Then drag some more. :-)