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Winter Riding Outside (Snowy Climates)

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  • Winter Riding Outside (Snowy Climates)

    Just wondering what those of you who get "white" winters do to keep your outdoor ring rideable for a long as possible.

    Snow removal? (What do you use?)
    Sand on top of the snow?

    Hoping to keep my young mare going over the winter. I will definitely be utilizing trails & road riding lots, but would also like to use my ring as my as much as possible.

  • #2
    I.....usually just ride on top of the snow. It's a softer landing if I accidentally dismount
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.


    • #3
      We plow outdoor rings around here in winter...*if* they have bluestone/dust footing. Not usually done with sand.

      But if you plow down the snow to an 1" or less on stonedust, then when the sun's out it'll met and the footing won't be frozen anymore. Then it's decent for schooling. The ring will be a bit smaller with a huge pile of snow in it though.

      If not schooling, then conditioning rides in winter. Fantabulous time to do it! Get outta the ring, hits the great outdoors, warm up and then go, go, go. Working trot, transitions, cantering, etc. Gets you and the horse in excellent shape. A good long working gait conditioning ride. People don't do these often enough. 2-3 times per week and by spring expect to have one beautifully muscled horse and one helluva improved seat, core and stamina for yourself.

      Or ride out bareback in the middle of a snowfall for a gorgeous relaxing trail ride. Amble along, everything is quiet, peaceful and beautiful. And you're nice and toasty when bareback.

      Just, ummm, don't attempt that in snowpants. You won't even feel it coming and then out of nowhere...FFFSSSHHHH....plop...right in the snow. (slippery darned pants!)
      You jump in the saddle,
      Hold onto the bridle!
      Jump in the line!


      • #4
        OMG MB, you are scaring me with talk of "snowpants' and all...lol
        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


        • #5
          LOL, don't get nervous Mroades! Snow pants are mostly used for wet-repelling for when the snow gets warmed up a bit and turns slushy. Or for really windy days since they cut the wind.

          Or you can go with Carhartt type coveralls or overalls. Those aren't slippery and you can ride in those without swooshing off the horse!

          You'll notice the die-hard New Englanders don't even bother with jackets until it snows. Or you'll notice the weird fashion trend we have here with people wearing snow pants and a t-shirt...or a down jacket and shorts, LOL!
          You jump in the saddle,
          Hold onto the bridle!
          Jump in the line!


          • Original Poster

            Bump for more ideas... going to be without an indoor this year too.


            • #7
              I have no ideas, but wanted to say I'm right there with you! Green horse, no indoor, and a husband who doesn't get home after dark. It's gonna be a fun winter...heh.
              Last edited by Superminion; Nov. 21, 2012, 02:25 PM.


              • #8
                I'll be outside all winter too!! Previous years I've trailered to indoors, but we put an all-weather outdoor arena in at my place, and I'm DETERMINED to ride there all winter and save the $$ I was using previous winters for trailer-in fees!

                So, other than when the snow is really deep, I'm going to put some kind of ice-melt product on my arena and keep it as un-frozen as possible and ride on it.


                • #9
                  We always trail rode in the winter. No worries about a arena.
                  Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


                  • #10
                    I used to plow it, but found that it could get icy...now we just ride in the snow, and fresh snow on top tends to keep the footing o.k.


                    • #11
                      I also have no indoor, and in Ontario we can get some pretty good snow too! I always just rode on top of the snow. I love it and it gets the ponies working! Of course there are days when I cant go out (not enough snow like last year - it was super icy, too much snow and ponies almost died! lol!) and I hate it when its super windy!! Yuck! But when its sunny and there is the perfect amount of snow, its awesome! Have fun