Maybe adjust the feed for the winter horse? He may not need as much as you think. Sounds like a boarding situation, so adding turn out may not help. I would agree with the poster that mentioned trails and HILLS. They are your friend, especially if they are long. When winter horse would like to slow down, you kick!! Then ask for them to come back to you. Amazing how thankful they can be. Enough hills and they will learn to conserve some fuel for later.
Another thought. Do you ride winter horse before or after turnout?
At the very first mis-step of my naughty bucking\shying\bolting winter horse, very very hard work is unleashed. It takes her about 5 minutes to start changing her tune but she doesn't get a break for at least 30 minutes. I make sure she doesn't have time to think about anything else but me - no mercy is shown. This ride typically occurs every couple of weeks, with several installments in a row at the first sign of frosty weather and after each clipping. My winter\summer horse is lazy at heart so this may not work for natural energizer bunnies.
Totally agree with trails. My horses are all OTTBs and they did a ton of trail riding in the winter when their attention was focused elsewhere. Now they are the same horse winter/summer. Not saying it will be a perfect solution for every horse, but you have to work with nature, and trails are typically harder work for the horses than flatting in a ring.
I dont ride in the winter its to cold,only teens for highs
now in december. My horse is just fine come spring ridding,hes ridden six days a week all summer. Winter is just to cold and snowy plus we have a layer of ice on the ground not very safe to ride.
Summer Panache is a fun ride, sensitive but responsive, with a good brain in her head... she learns a lot during the summer! Winter Panache is a foolish, silly, ADHD little Princess who thinks she isn't getting spoiled enough! Summer Panache goes in a nice loose ring KK Ultra snaffle... does everything in that bit. Winter Panache wears a Pelham for the extra brakes. We don't "learn" many new things during the winter... it's mostly for keeping safe and halfway fit. Her turnout and rations don't change either, it's just a weather thing that brings out the mosters.
My soon to be 27 year old OTTB mare makes me giggle--she'll often be snorty, hot and prancy for at least the first 10-15 minutes of a ride in winter, even with plenty of other horses in the arena. I get her attention and put her to work immediately, with lots of bending. If it's really bad I'll go almost immediately to a trot; if we're walking, we'll do leg yields, circles, etc. Her relief once she is relaxed is palatable. When she was younger, trot poles saved my bacon on several occasions.
My TB gelding is a summer horse throughout the year. I don't know what he's smoking, but he's usually very relaxed with me. He's one who tends to get hotter as the schooling sesson goes on.
I have the joy this year of *two* winter horses, both chesnut OTTB mares. One is 25 and almost bucked me off two weekends ago. The other is green broke and got me off by springing across the arena... while I was trying to mount. Ouch.
The greenie is now re-leaning her lunging manners with various side reins and other contraptions.
I have a very similar winter horse to you, although mine is a late gelded gelding! Everything is very scary though, and scary is a fun excuse to practice his lateral work without me asking :P
I do a lot of ground work in the winter. I'm not a fan of lunging a horse down (as in having the horse gallop around in a circle for 30 mins), but am a fan of really working a horse on the lunge. I lunge my horse for at least 20 mins each day before I ride in the winter. This also helps warm up the back on a cold day before getting on. I lunge in side reins, over raised cavaletti. Work on spiraling in and out on the lunge, lots of transitions, and work those hocks over the cavaletti! Move your lunge circles all over the ring, including next to that evil door! I will be so bold as to promise that if you start each session with a productive workout on the lunge, your rides will go much more smoothly. If you aren't a proficient lunger, call around to trainers in your area and see if anyone can give you a lunge lesson. Any USDF instructor will have gone through lunge training and will be able to give you some good exercises and help you train your horse to lunge if they don't know how. Good luck with winter maresy!
My winter horses always required BRAIN work. Anything mental that I could throw at them - no trotting around doing mindless circles. No jumping off of the long approach - everything had to be very very "thought provoking".
The winter chestnut mare used to perfect the stopping and staring at the door as though there were nazgul approaching and then hightailing it out of there. So by the nazgul laden door we did a ton more. Lots of bending, cone-work, spiraling, little jumps, trot poles, being creative.
The winter big dumb gelding used to love airs above the ground. So I channeled that into jumping. You want to do airs? I'll show you airs.
Luckily the winter sweet-pea is very similar to the summer sweet-pea so I've lucked out this year. But man, I've had some doozies. Lots of brain work helps, as well as velcro, saddl-tite and wine and hot baths (for you, not for winter horsie)
Winter is for fox hunting. 3-4 hours of hunting twice a week and they forget what it was they were so pissy about. Unless you're riding my TB, then you need to go on a week long hunt. The last day he might be tired.