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How to deal with snow sliding off indoor

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  • How to deal with snow sliding off indoor

    We're lucky to have an indoor this winter, but how best to desensitize my should know better horse to the sporadic blasts from the roof? The last blast left a warmblood leaping into me for safety. I'm flattered by the trust, but don't want to be squished.

    Do we just have to tough out repeated exposure?

  • #2
    It's that or climb up there and sweep it off, I'm afraid. Yesterday it kept sliding off the barn just as I was about to get on each horse-- awesome timing.


    • #3
      he'll get used to it.

      But you do need to teach him to respect your space enough that even when frightened he doesn't jump into your lap.


      • #4
        Oh, I don't think he'll get used to it. Heck, I never got used to it. It startled me every time!
        All 3 of my horses, two being old campaigners who had seen it all, would still jump every time we had a landslide off the roof. Never anything dangerous, but at the very least bolting a few gallop steps with the "WHERE'S THE TIGER?!" face, nose in the air. It was rare (maybe happened once a year when we were actually in the indoor), but I lived in fear of it during the thawing months of Feb-Apr. Thankfully it was only a few seconds and then everyone would calm down once they realized what it was.


        • #5
          When the snow is regularly sliding off the roof (think warm day), turn him out in the indoor. He'll get over it.

          I lived by a railroad track. The first time the train went by, I thought my gelding was going to have a heart attack. After about the 5th time, he never picked his head up when it went by. And it was Amtrack, they weren't going slow.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


          • #6
            Heels down, head up, shoulders back.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7
              Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
              When the snow is regularly sliding off the roof (think warm day), turn him out in the indoor. He'll get over it.
              This, and/or a roof rake to get a the snow before it drops off on its own.

              I've also picked my battle on it too -- I knew *I'd* be horribly uptight constantly worrying about what the horse would do at the noise so I'd make him uptight constantly, therefore snowballing the whole thing. I skipped my ride till the risk was reduced.

              Depending on the type of roof and the size of the indoor, it can sound like everything is collapsing plus a train racing right through -- on a metal roof and a small indoor, it's scared the crap out of me before when I wasn't expecting it. Imagine a horse who would have no where to escape to and not the reasoning to figure out what it was!


              • #8
                I usually avoid riding if someone says there is ice coming off. We have 80x200' indoor, so when it starts sliding there can be a lot. My gelding can deal with a little snow coming off, and icicles dropping off also. But when the ice starts moving he still can't take it. Some days I can ride outside in the hayfield, but I've spent enough time eating dirt over the years because he's spooky. Giving up a day or two during the winter doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice.
                Providence sometimes takes care of idiots. Agnes Morley Cleaveland in No Life for a Lady.


                • #9
                  This might be wasting a perfectly good schooling opportunity, but for a quick fix have you considered fuzzy ear plugs?


                  I have only used them on one horse. He was accustomed to them before I came along, so im not sure if they are easy to introduce. Lifesavers.


                  • #10
                    God I love my horse. I get so spoiled riding around bareback as snow slides off. Last week a big chunk fell off right next to us. The other two horses took off. My little ottb looked around like "What are we spooking at" and continued on his way.


                    • #11
                      That's why some of us put shingles on our indoor arena roofs instead of metal. Might be more maintenance but one heck of a lot safer. Especially if you live and ride alone!

                      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thank you!

                        Very much appreciate the advice! Usually it's more a spring issue, but this year it snows, gets warm and snows again. I'll try earplugs and see if they help. If it were my indoor, I'd have used shingles and the snow clip thingys that prevent the snowslides, but alas I'm still a boarder...


                        • #13
                          I'm lucky, I'm reading through this thread and giggling that my "super reactive hot insane off the track TB" doesn't even bat an eye when this happens.. So spoiled.

                          I think you need to just ride through it. Don't think about, and don't entertain the thought of it. IMHO the first time they spook, it is okay - the second time, not so acceptable anymore.

                          FWIW, I don't know if earplugs is safe - if the horse can see a lot of things flying and can't hear it (when he knows he should) he may be more apt to be over-reactive.
                          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012